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Student Poem - The World Stood Still

The World Stood Still

Three days into lockdown

and boredom had already taken its place

in the mind of every individual. Before you came,

life was here, sprouting from every nook and cranny,

spasms of freedom, disrupting the blockade

of the war that you brought.

Sellotape bandaged around the table,

as I tried to craft as many pointless things

as I could, smoothed down the blanket

wrapped around me, steeled the softening

of my face. I wanted to graze my nose

across the tip of her nose, hold my

niece like I did three

days ago. I resisted the impulse to

go back to the fridge and clean

it for a third time.


All my days flattened, rolled, turned into emptiness,

slowly melting into one. I was brave, as I walked

with my dog for the second time today, threw

open the front door, the world, that once overflowed

like a treasure chest, now stood still. A split second

and we were away, intoxicated by potential diseases.

When we got back, I went to my room,

released my feelings from their cage.


Later a single dove flew from the tree across the road,

and this is where it has led me,

dancing around the house, my mind busy

sending my thanks, complements and appreciation to God

for ensuring that I am healthy.

On reaching the top of the stairs I traced

the fingerprints on the window,

leaned against it like a wishbone.

The dove pulled freely against the sky,

an ornamental stitch. I listened, hoping to hear

playground voices catching on the wind.

Leah Malpass

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