Words by Laura Bailey
As the new reality of lockdown hit and my world grew suddenly small and slow, I found myself taking so many photos. On my walks and of my captive children. As if trying to make sense both of the anxiety and the strange quiet beauty of spring’s unstoppable romance.
Dawn dog walks or bicycle rides from a haunted Soho to the Serpentine. Brief precious conversations with strangers. The newspaper man. A policewoman. Portobello market traders. Laughs and arguments and smalltalk signs of life.
A park bench haloed in lilac where I brave news and numbers. And poetry.
The helplessness yet helpfulness of stillness.
Mostly feeling lucky. Health and energy and community solidarity. London’s broad embrace. Beyond the rainbows and clapping ~ of those in need and those in service.
The extraordinary luxury of my secret garden. Of planting seeds and noticing every tiny shift of mood and light as if for the first time.
The out of proportion joy of seeing a familiar face, momentarily in synch in the park. Sign language over empty playgrounds and tangled roses.
My kids, wild-eyed, long-limbed, each day a dare. A 1000 piece jigsaw and late night cards. Bribes. And kindness. A 5k twilight run firing daydreams and wanderlust.
Some Polaroids taken over 24 hours last week. In between times , which is all the time now. Waiting, imagining, praying, playing…
‘We are a team now’, my daughter says.
A home team.
When they turn the sun
on again I’ll plant children
under it, I’ll light up my soul
with a match and let it sing. I’ll
take my bones and polish them, I’ll
vacuum up my stale hair, I’ll
pay all my neighbors’ bad debts, I’ll
write a poem called Yellow and put
my lips down to drink it up, I’ll
feed myself spoonfuls of heat and
everyone will be home playing with
their wings and the planet will
shudder with all those smiles and
there will be no poison anywhere, no plague
in the sky and there will be a mother-broth
for all of the people and we will
never die, not one of us, we’ll go on
won’t we? – Yellow by Anne Sexton