Image by Marijn Van Braak

It’s coming,
hurting things along the way.
It throttled Mrs Lanford’s self-esteem,
and left her lodger, Nigel, with tortured thoughts.
Mr Kumar’s dreams suddenly turned sour
and he closed his shop.
Rumour is he’s torched it but I’m too afraid to look.
My next door neighbour, Sharon, killed her cat;
my own stays out of reach.

They warned us, but who’d have guessed at this?
Now the Helpline is no longer manned; the radio’s white noise.
I wait, though waiting hurts.


Paul McDonald is Course Leader for Creative and Professional Writing at the University of Wolverhampton. His latest novel is, Do I Love You? (2008) and his latest collection of poetry is, Catch a Falling Tortoise (2007).

Back To Issue #22

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