by Brenda Saunders
nothing is what it seems these days your friend is your enemy a stranger your ‘distance’ friend anxiety becomes your inner controller you join ‘the man in the mask’ exemplar of our time wear them make copies for friends shield from the invisible threat living among us there is danger on the bus on the cool slip of chrome (gloves and mask obligatory) as you sit on the sticker marked in green en route to the ‘weekly shop’ you lose all sense of smell and touch as you fumble fruit into bags your fingers trapped in leather. If you trip no one offers a hand ( except to swipe your card) at home a daughter arrives yells a message from the street you wave to the grandchild you can’t quite hear tell them you’re fine nod yes yes everything’s fine.
Brenda is a writer and artist of Wiradjuri and British descent from Sydney. She has published three poetry books and her next collection Inland Sea is due for publication in 2020. Many of her poems have appeared in anthologies and journals both online and in print, including Australian Poetry Journal, Overland, Quantum, Southerly and Westerly. She is a mentor for Black Cockatoo, the Emerging Indigenous Poets site at Verity La.