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The Shell

Photo: Alex Padurariu. CC0/Public domain.

For Lucy

It seems strange to say it but
we’ve been constrained to a limited space.
We do have the privilege of a garden.
It’s all relatively new to us. A blessing just in time
before the world got stopped.
We established our very own animal pub there-
it’s called The Grain & Shell.
Birds & squirrels
feed & drink
& fight &
dance & mate,
but this Winter the water in the shell freezes
first a below-zero ice-skating rink, then a small mountain of hard snow.
Thirsty squeaking little birds cannot break through it;
squirrels lick the frozen surface
then leave in clear disappointment.
Every morning after tea & coffee
we now put another kettle on & melt
the glacial, hazy and rigid mirror
& watch the lot steam up in the cold air.
(We do make sure it’s not too hot- we don’t want to scald the punters).
The Shell, these days, gets frozen
almost right away, these cold days.
Nevertheless we do persist.
It will get warmer,
in the end.


Categories Poetry

Ernesto Priego is a senior lecturer at City University of London. He is also the editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Comics Grid Journal of Comics Scholarship, a researcher-led open access journal published by the Open Library of Humanities.

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