A new poem with foxgloves

Social distance
Sarah Salway

We are talking about earthquakes
when we pass the waterfall of foxgloves,
I’m sure they weren’t there before, you say,
pausing to take a perfect Insta shot

and as I imagine red shadows slinking by
with freckle splattered purple hands,
I’m about to tell you how Shakespeare’s father
was a glovemaker, when you hand me your phone

and I take it without thinking – your phone
in my bare hands. Was touch once this easy?
I watch your face catch my expression.
Our weekly walks meander on paths

around every topic, with shortcuts
to those things we don’t share with others.
How many times has this very phone
spilt out its secrets to me but still you lean

across our safe distance to snatch it back,
you even pretend not to see the care I take
to wipe my fingers, the foxgloves waving
at us like tiny megaphones as we walk on.

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