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POETRY IN THE PLAGUE YEAR

Poems written during the Coronavirus Outbreak 2020

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Claire Booker

Brighton, UK

 

Claire Bookerís pamphlets are The Bone That Sang (Indigo Dreams) and Later There Will Be Postcards (Green Bottle Press). Her poems have appeared in Magma, the North, Rialto, the Spectator and Stand among others. Two of her poems were recently performed simultaneously at six venues as part of Arachne Press' Solstice Shorts Festival. She received a Kathak Award last year at the Dhaka International Poetry Summit. More at www.bookerplays.co.uk

 

Poem completed, 3rd June 2020

 

The Chair

 

Something wired about her face

makes me stop scrolling down. Iím sucked

into those eyes, the dark shine of her skin;

the expression I canít quite place. 

 

She seems unsettled in her blue gown,

and the cap clamping her head. Itís the end

of lockdown, and hairdressers have been busy

since midnight. I wonder what treatment this is.

 

The image is electric, bursting out of itself.

Chubby white fingers, just in shot, apply a kind

of gel to her temple. The chair, socially distanced,

is too solid, somehow excessive.

 

Then I notice her wrists, her ankles, the straps.

The prurient lens is snatching her final moments.

 

 

Note: 

African-American prisoners are disproportionately represented

on death row. The US Supreme Court does not acknowledge 

statistical bias as a reason to overturn an individual's sentence.