Just before Corona kicked in

Sam panicked, bought fourteen pairs of slippers
as he suffers with flat feet. The Amazon driver
stacked the boxes by the front door, knocked 
fourteen times, then went back to his van.

Sam went to Tesco before the fieldfares left,
and picked up sixteen pairs of socks 
for his slippers. He got two extra pairs for when 
he jumps in his twice-monthly bath.

Sam visited his mother the night before lockdown
to give her twenty-two packets of digestives. 
Plus twenty-two tea bags, and twenty-two spliffs
to pass away the time between Eastenders. 

Sam managed to find seven melons at the local
market. He carried them home in his bicycle basket.
Swerved past two police officers, ran over 
a wren, and dropped one melon on a dogs head. 

Sam sat in his house for two months, only used
one pint of milk but had fifty-four bowls of sugar puffs.
He answered one thousand and twelve texts, rang 
sixteen people, and gave four hundred likes on Twitter. 

When the lockdown ended he walked out of his house, 
and kissed the elderly neighbour on the cheeks. 
The old man wasn’t happy, and whacked Sam 
on the head with his walking stick fifteen times.

Sam went back inside and took fourteen Nurofen
for each headache the stick gave. He was a pill
short, so sellotaped his slippers to the sides of his head
to muffle away the sound as the earth spun again.

Gareth Culshaw lives in Wales. He has two collections by FutureCyle, The Miner (2018) and A Bard's View (2020). He is a current MA student at Manchester Met. He hopes one day to achieve something special with the pen. He Tweets at @Culshawpoetry1 and blogs at gcwculshaw.moonfruit.com