Peak outside

Peak Outside – peek if you dare

Phase 3
Epidemic Status
Virus has been suppressed. Continued focus on containing sporadic outbreaks.

Following an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, local advice on travel and indoor gatherings between households has changed. The city is back in lockdown and after being reviewed it is decided that restrictions should remain in place, and will be reviewed again in 7 days.

These measures will not affect the re-opening of schools. 

Peak Outside

Peak outside, peek if you dare. 
Always one for a dare, I took a look. 
It looked ok. Safe. Sort of. 
I couldn't see anything out of place, 
although it felt like it could still be there.

Anyway they said it was time.
Virus suppressed. Under control.
I like control. It makes me feel safe.
So I joked about new shoes
and off I went. Back to school.

There was a warning sign on the door.
I expected to push the door and find it locked,
but it opened before me and I went in.
Inside it was the same as before. Sort of.
It felt grubby and stained. 

It was a bit dishevelled, like something
which has been left in a hurry.
Things were different.
A black and yellow line marked 
the way. COVID -19: This way please. 

I wonder why we keep to the right.
We have always kept to the left before.
Maybe being on the right will be safer.
Right. Was that one of the things
that would make it all ok?

The letter promised hand sanitiser,
instead there is a line. 1000 people walk the line.
People on the right. (Virus on the left?)
Want to go back. Don't want to be here.
Not ok. Not safe. Just a mess. Such a mess.

No one knows what to do.
I am confused. Everyone is confused.
It is all lies. I don't want to lie
Lies are bad. This is bad. It is all very bad.
I smile and pretend it is not bad.

I want to go home. I want to be safe.
I want the strong arms around me.
I take out the hand-gel he has given me
Maybe two pumps will make this all go away
Magic fairy dust. Antibacterial.

I see my friends but I don't know
if we are still friends.
Everything feels wrong at 2 meters.
Are we safe? Can we breathe?
Yesterday we were not allowed out. 

I put my lunch in the fridge.
Can I still do that? Is that ok?
My emails shout at me.
Is this safe? This isn't safe!
What are you going to do?

I don't know what to do, 
but I do it anyway. I spend a lot of time
Soothing, reassuring, encouraging, 
sympathising, empathising, compromising.
I. Don't. Believe. Me.

Nothing is the same. 
I listen many times to how it is.
A one way system. No PPE.
No social distance for pupils.
Don't touch their stuff.

There is a 15 minute rule.
Stick to the 2 meter rule too.
Find the spray. Use the cloth.
When do I teach? What do I teach?
Does it matter? Stick to the line. 

Nothing is safe. You can't 
touch anything. You can't be near
anyone. But I am here and they
are here too. They want to know
what to do. So I do it.

I have to forget everything.
Nothing makes sense. Nothing makes sense.
I want to go home. I can go home soon. 
At home things make sense.
The same. Certain. I don't want lies.

Not more lies. No more not knowing
I want to know. Pick a thing
and stick to it. Don't change, please don't change.
Be the same. I want something to be the same.
Be my routine. Keep me safe. 

I go back. I have to go back. Again
and again and again. I have to.
People want things. People need me.
They are part of the lie,
part of the trick too. We are here together.

What can we do? We can't run. We can't hide.
We are together, whatever comes for us.
Whoever brings it to us. 
I will try to keep them safe in the other ways. 
It is what I know. What I can do? Smile?

It is all I can do as we navigate
the sea of incompetence and indecision
The mess of mistakes and jargon and lies
the politics and the games which fly
up the corridors and around the rooms.

The lies don't follow the lines
the don't stick to the black and yellow arrows
which mark out the right way.
They choose their own way
making it up as they go along.

What do I say today? Has it changed?
Is it the same? I see the secrets
lurking in the morning when I arrive
They can't be revealed. "Too scary, knowing.
Knowing will make it worse." Worse?

How can it get any worse?
This is bad. There is a peak outside.
It looked ok. But I know it is not.
And so do they. So do they all.
But still, here I am, outside. 

I close my eyes. I shut them tight. 
I don't want to see. I don't want to peek 
at the peak. Any more. 
I pretend it is ok. Like them.
That is what they want, after all.

# 429 – Peak Outside



I have shaped this as a poem although it is more of a free verse outpouring, searching in vain for something familiar to contain it. You can find other writing which is more poetic here or click to see who else is taking part in Brigit’s Erotic Poetry Challenge.

Erotic Poetry Challenge
Posted in Poetry, Projects.

25 Comments

    • It is messing with my head so I am trying not to focus on it. I think that writing it down helped to get some of it out of my head though. 😊

  1. Missy when I read this it’s like been stuck in a dream where everything feels real but reality is all upside down and messed up. You need to swim to the surface and take in a deep breath or order.

    • That is a good description of how it feels. And it’s like we have forgotten everything that mattered before. All the things we did which we believed meant something have been pushed aside. All structure and routine has been pulled up and replaced with a new set of rules which change with the drop of a hat and don’t seem to follow any logic ❤️

  2. Oh missy, this is so heartfelt and emotional. I really love the way you have presented your feelings and I can only hope that real life improves, although I’m not holding my breath on that. It is beautiful in its helplessness though.

  3. Very well expressed, so evocative of the confusion. I thought the exact same thing as I put my lunchbox in the fridge!
    So many of us have been perfectly obedient, but when we are being told lies and half truths it does make you feel confused and betrayed. I so much hope things improve for you and you keep safe & keep your charges safe.

    • Thank you Posy. I appreciate that very much. I think lots of us feel the same and sometimes it seems to leak out I suppose. Thank you for commenting ❤️

  4. Bloody brilliant Missy – blown away by this – I see it all – I hope it helped u somewhat getting it down. Why the right – it used to be the left – YES!
    xx

    • Thank you May. That means a lot as I was very unsure about posting it. The right. I know. How weird. All I could think was is the virus on the left. But the left just has more people. We walk on the line with people to the front and the back and the side. So odd. And such weird rules. You can’t sing anymore, for example. It’s random. ❤️

  5. Strong, powerful piece, Missy, which definitely gets the confusion of today across, the way our lives have changed, the way we need to adjust, and the lies we are told. Walking on the right… virus on the left? Brilliant!
    ~ Marie xox

    • Thank you. I was so unsure so am pleased that people have been so kind about it. Sometimes pouring out emotions can be really helpful ❤️

  6. This is EXACTLY where I’m at right now and why I’ve been away from the blog. But honestly, writing grounds me and I shouldn’t be avoiding it. Thanks for reminding me that I can…and should…use my space to express all my messy emotions, not just the sex-related ones. Because, let’s face it, this stuff affects every facet of our lives, including our sex lives. We go back next week, and the freak-out is bubbling just below my surface. Hugs!

    • I look forward to reading what you write as I think the parallels will be helpful. I wondered about adding to your poetry challenge but wasn’t sure it was a fit. Good luck and big hugs back. We will be ok ❤️

  7. Our local school board developed a plan that ensured smaller class sizes, teacher prep time, and made school as safe as it can be in this pandemic (which isn’t safe really). But our government said no! Kids would have had more time at home so parents would have had issues with day care and the time of instruction would have been slightly less than normal. However the government is committed to making schools safe!! Yeah. Right!!

    • Ha. Sounds very similar. We had a timetable for blended learning ready to go when they announced that we were back with all pupils in full time. 😊

  8. OMG you know how to set of anxiety. I feel this every day at my job and yet I need to work. I have to tuck all that away and keep pushing on. I want to scream and cry every day. it is scary and painful not knowing if it is safe like it used to be

    • I am sorry to have set off any anxiety. It was a piece which sort of wrote itself. I wasn’t sure about publishing it at all but I did feel better for being able to get it out of my head. I feel for you at work. I am not sure what type of work you are in but I think it is hard when so many are still able to work from home and isolate to an extent. It feels a bit like being a sitting duck and as if they are just waiting for it to go wrong with us before they say it was a mistake and they are changing their minds. I have taken the approach that I will try just to think and behave ‘normally’ about it for the sake of my mental health. Logically I see no way that the few measures provided can really protect me at all. If it is in my room, it is in my room. Some of the others around me are in high stages after anxiety for a variety of reasons though so it makes for a lot of tension in a way which is in addition to the usual strains which can be there. I suppose time will tell. I hope that you stay safe and I will be thinking of you ❤️

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