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Unprecedented Times Spent Waiting at Asda by Pat Cammish

Arts Richmond

Online - 09 July 2020

Unprecedented Times Spent Waiting at Asda by  Pat Cammish

Unprecedented Times Spent Waiting at Asda


I stand in line upon that spot so bold,

That marks my place upon the ground in gold,

Protecting me by distance from the next

Who waits, a human length away, in text



With mask and gloves and hand-gel all to hand,

And trolley poised, in limbo both, we stand,

Awaiting access to the distant store,

Regretting all the normal times before,



When we thought nought of  meeting friends in pubs 

Or jostling crowds in busy shops and clubs.

Unthinking then, we passed our  time with glee

At games, at plays, at concerts or the sea.

Not now.


The Texter's trolley shifts on one spot more,

I sigh, and gaze towards the distant door.

It's hot out here in unrelenting sun,

And there is so much else that could be done

At home...


Like roses to prune and books to sort.../ or bake;

A crusted loaf, some currant buns, a cake;

Some scones, jam tarts, or chocolate eclairs

But what's the point - when nobody comes and shares

My  life?


The queue creeps on with dreary halting gait

Towards the entrance doors, for which we wait,

To find, we hope, inside the hallowed shrine, 

Essential items - beer and gin and wine,                               

In plenty.


To see us through Uprecedented Times

Like these, such days of lockdown or of fines

For doing what is natural to us all -

The social round, the hug, the kiss, the call

On neighbours.


I'm nearly there, I'm in the shade at last

I'm through the doors beneath the icy blast

Of air inside the shop. I breathe a sigh.

“Now what else do I need to buy?  Oh my!

I can't remember.”


By Pat Cammish


Poem for the day Unprecedented Times Spent Waiting

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Talking Lockdown

Arts Richmond has organised a series of short Zoom talks from representatives of the arts and media.

Wednesday 12 May 2021 at 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

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The Roger McGough Annual Poetry Prize 2020

Roger McGough

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