On the most ordinary of outings
Between the seasonal specials and the dog food
That’s where it happens
Crossing off baked beans and then
You look up and
There is a baby who doesn’t smile back
Why would he?
The woman with the liver-spotted knuckles and the sardines in her trolley
List, tightly clutched
Her varifocals are steamed up
You can’t see any of her old, small face
But her whispy voice says “sorry”
The big man’s rushed lunge for sausages
Probably hungry, but we gasp
Oh, too close.
There’s nowhere to go…
There hasn’t been for a while
Except the supermarket – not a market, not super.
Just somewhere to get food
To stuff the bags for life. French cheese, blueberries from Morocco and Caribbean bananas
Mysterious air miles for stay-at-home days
I wonder, screaming in my head
What have we done?
Faceless. Exist to shuffle the aisles alone in our masks
I hope it was worth it.