Wednesday, 06 May 2020 08:39

Numbers

Written by
in Poetry
781
Numbers

numbers

by Steve Pottinger

this morning
(one dressing-gown, two pockets, missing belt)

standing on the back doorstep
(cuppa, four sugars, first fag of the day)

she’s thinking about numbers
(two blackbirds, three wood pigeon, one wren)

dry mouth, heart pitter-pattering
(nineteen to the dozen)

the small ones she can handle,
(five fence panels, twelve flowerpots, nine slabs)

inches toward them steadily like sunlight crossing yards
(fourteen feet by twenty)

has marked off forty-seven lockdown dawns
(one by one by one)

on calendar in kitchen
(four pans, eight teaspoons, six mugs, two chipped)

has fingers and toes and wits enough for all her daily needs
(forty-nine years, three kids, dead-end jobs in hundreds)

but the big ones…
(fifteen men each digging sixteen holes)

shape-shifting tricksy things,
(in four days, no overtime, no union)

there to bewilder and confuse
(is it enough? what’s their take home pay?)

she claps for carers,
but can’t begin to get her head

round millions of pieces of missing PPE
(or thirty, forty, fifty thousand dead)

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Steve Pottinger

Steve Pottinger is a performance poet who's passionate about the power of poetry to create connections between people. He believes in making an audience laugh and think and decide that poetry isn't so bad after all.