JobSeeker in the time of Coronavirus

Susan Austin

She waters the weeds in the alleyway,
hoping they will flower.
Evenings she pads slowly past the street’s high fences,
wishes she could be privy to the gardens they seclude.

She kisses the letter that tells her about the Coronavirus Supplement,
spends her first payment on grocery basics, used timber
to build a patio planter box,
herbs she introduces to the soil.

Returns to the nursery the next day,
dodging boys barrelling along the footpath on scooters,
staggers home, legs and arms complaining,
with a dwarf pomegranate tree in a large green ceramic pot.

Squats to position it to the left of her paint-blistered front door.
Its future fruit – shiny red and hard,
              hiding hundreds of sweet juicy gems 
              that will roll and explode in her mouth –

something now 
                            to look forward to.

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