Like Christmas Eve

Not the brushing of hair, best clothes

Glass of sherry before Midnight Mass

Walk to church under the frosted stars and a slice of moon

Not the quiet time listening to carols on Radio 3

Wrapping presents, piling them under the tree

Not a light meal ahead of the gorging of Christmas Day.

Not these delights, no.


Car park full. No shopping trolleys to hand

Broken down boxes in metal cages blocking the aisles

Parents with children dragging behind

Barren shelves, bar the odd crumpled tin

Chaos at the check-outs, not enough staff

No pasta, no toilet rolls, no hand sanitiser

Flustered staff, all good manners drained

Sick of re-stating that tomorrow’s delivery might carry the stock

No promises, no guarantees

Just like Christmas Eve, but without the joy.


n.b. Corona virus panic buying in full swing I hear.

There is a charity box on Albert Road, Southsea which carries a message, “Give what you can. Take what you need.” We live in hope that the essence of these words filters through.

CLP 15/03/2020