Mandy Pannett

Feather-Shelter

Let’s say
it’s morning with a chance of sun
and I’m waking up to myself and all the stuff
outside my window – birdsong, traffic, footsteps
on a gravel path.

Voices that were calling to me in the dark
are now switched off.

Let’s say
the fabric of life for some
is too thin for repair.
Who darns a sock these days, turns a collar,
weaves a sackcloth shift?

Let’s say
it happens offstage
as in a Greek tragedy where a messenger tells
that children have died in the wings

but the impact is less
if I don’t see bodies
or sense the no-breath in a van.

So let’s say
it’s easy to airbrush, photoshop and sink
an image, blur a face, a hand
or turn the volume down low,
so low

that a feather-shelter may disperse
and I won’t even know.

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