Packed like yams into dusty carriages
we watch from the safety of our sitting room
where Nana used to sit and iron by the table
and Pop, in the corner, with his pipe,
now just names in prayer and that picture
of their wedding on a wall that still stands
and they, long taken to the sleep.

We sit in all this space while passengers
are packed like sandwiches in tin tubs,
trains swapping stations and germs
on the Underground, over the water
where I used to live, once, when nana
was still ironing and Pop, already sleeping.
I was happy then, I think, I tell myself,
I played happy at times, hilarious
and happy little me in Hampstead,
back stage, behind the spotlight
and considering the distance
I’d covered and the sitting room,
the sofa, the Nana and the Pop.

We watch from that sitting room,
now, with its ceiling since lowered
so the heat stays closer to the body-
the only contact we’ll consider-
she on the sofa and me- single armchair
for single boy returned home as man
and now kept home in quarantine,
in close quarters, two grown-ups
counting the money they cannot spend
and watching lives unfold on the telly
after playing clean-up in the garden
and looking to the trees for carvings
of connections since taken to the sleep.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


  1. Mike Powell

    Your walls seem to be continuing to close in, Damien. How do you plan when your confinement has no fixed duration? It’s hard not to think about all the things that we miss, the things we took for granted when live was “normal.” Gradually, it seems, everything is being stripped away and reduced to a basic level of simplicity. The eternal question remains, “What is to be done?” Hang in there, my friend, and don’t give up hope that your dreams currently on hold will yet come true.

    1. deuxiemepeau

      Thanks my friend, don’t worry, the hope is there still, Poetry helps so much to let it out, scribble down the fears and then go closer to the light- the sun light- not that other poltergeist one! πŸ€—πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ€—πŸ€—

    1. deuxiemepeau

      The garden and now painting the interior of the cottages and writing is my distraction and grateful I am too it too! Keep going and staying safe my dear Kerfe 🌟🌟☘️☘️

Leave a Reply