More and more of my friends in more fortunate countries are emerging from their lock-downs. I get pictures of happy children running down the beach, I hear of plans of parties, I see people’s hair getting trimmed and shinier, cave beards disappearing and track suits being dumped in the bin. Not here. If anything, we are adding more locks to the already heavy door that separates us from life.
The last few weeks have created a virtual solidarity which is now vanishing. Most inmates who get out forget the ones who are still in. It’s natural. As they go out to enjoy the beaches, the parks, the shops and some crazily lucky ones even the bars (!!), a small minority remains under lock, staring out the window with envy and quiet despair. Gone are the silly zoom parties, where you at least felt other people somewhere far away get you. Now they don’t. They are too busy going to the hairdresser.
Oh well. The crows remain.
Which inspired me to visit my old friend Poe (I might try to zoom him next, now that everyone else has fled). I have taken the liberty to update one of my favourite in the light of the inequality of easing.
But the Raven, much less lonely than I am, spoke only
That one word. All his loathing of the lockdown in one word he did outpour.
‘No more skype or zoom’ he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “This was all my life before—
Please don’t leave me, I’m still locked – zoom with you is all I live for.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”