Wrote this new poem called The Demise of Mrs Doyle about the hazards of Irish hospitality in the context of Covid 19. You can listen to it here on soundcloud:

 

Mrs. Doyle’s Demise

I hear a knock on the door

Then hear the voice of Joan

Do you mind if I come in?

Isn’t it great that you are home

 

And where else would I be

In this lockdown level five?

But politeness keeps me silent

As this visitor arrives

 

Arrives into my kitchen

My safe cocoon for weeks

I clear the debris off the table

And beckon to a seat

 

A voice inside says get her out

Why can’t you just say no

At least she has her mask on

And a healthy rosy glow

 

Then the Mrs. Doyle inside me

Asks will you have a cup of tea?

She points to her mask

And what do I say only

Go on, go on, be free

 

So I make the tea and pass the cake

The milk and sugar too

We talk about the lack of news

And she asks to use the loo

 

I try to avoid dramatics

As I know that I am prone

To imagining disasters

In my mind when I’m alone

 

In truth it’s nice to share a laugh

and I am starting to feel relaxed

But now a text from her partner Ned

Makes me feel quite banjaxed

 

That’s just Ned she says on his way from town

He says the covid test was grand

THE WHAT? I scream inside my head

I’m struggling now to stand

 

What are you doing in my kitchen?

Are you hear to kill me dead?

But of course my mouth is silent

And I stare at Joan instead

 

Don’t worry she says and laughs it off

My Ned’s a healthy pup

He got a contact tracing text

So he thought he’d follow up

 

He said he felt quite sniffly

When he was driving in the lorry

I’d say he’s just hungover

But better be safe than sorry

 

Well thanks for the tea I better go

And get some lunch for Ned

Isn’t it lovely to do normal things

It’s so good for the head

 

Well that was just a week ago

Now I am sick in bed

With fever, aches and tiredness

And the voices in my head

 

If Mrs Doyle could see me now

She wouldn’t say go on

She’d surely change her mantra to

Begone, begone, begone

 

©Lisa Fingleton 2020

 

For more poems check out Poetry of the Pandemic.

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