We wonder now what we missed
as we canned chicken and pickled lemons
that heatwave summer we dug the well
taking sweaty shifts. No-one told us
we were preparing for the wrong apocalypse
and that the real one, when it came
might be dull. Our deaths could ride in
on the back of any old junk mail
and polishing the guns has lost
something of its ceremony
now each trip to the corner shop
might be our last. The go-bag
is packed in the boot of the go-truck
which rusts under the laburnum
while we potter between rooms
noticing their temperature
looking things up on our phones.
The news is grey and reprises every hour.
After we hold hands on the mossy lawn,
watch the newts and our shining faces
in the pond. There is twelve years’ supply
of food and ammo in the cellar
we’ve needed none of it
and cannot stack any higher.
Bumblebees purr in the airbrick
and through the walls, haze
their hover-bodies outside the nest
like tankers waiting to come into port.
I wish an endless stretch of calendula
and warm days for them, for us too
an infinity of box sets and jigsaws
more of the same old jokes.
SUZANNAH EVANS lives in Sheffield and her debut collection Near Future was published by Nine Arches Press in 2018.