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Helena White

Poetry

Staying in touch

5

10

15

Staying in touch through zoom,

Messaging on WhatsApp into your friends living room,

Calling your folks cos Skype is a bollix to figure out at the best of times

Its an innate Irish thing to have the chats and then your Mam chimes in

I hope you’re eating well and not doing too much drinking

empty line

That familiar feeling of your parents guidance

As a kid you scoffed at it and as a teen you shrugged »whatever like I know«

But now the small things are what we miss during the final cadence of the call

When the conversation ends with the usual »bye bye« love you, bye and mind yourself now’

It catches you off guard for a sec and that lump in your throat starts to appear

But you take a breath and say »mind yourselves too«

empty line

Cos staying in touch is so metimes all we have right now

Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype whatever bollix through or how

The chats, conversation, laughs and wit are what make it all worth it

If I venture out

5

10

15

20

If I venture out

To the blue sky

The air is fresh

The fear is high

empty line

My own breath fine

A smile forms on my face

In and out easy does it

Relief is felt

empty line

I feel alone

Safe and clean

In my own small zone

For my safety

empty line

Stress and anxiety creep up

I need to welcome them in

But not make them the biggest thing

empty line

So my own breath fine

A smile forms on my face

In and out easy does it

Relief is felt

Helena is an actor from Kilkenny, living in Dublin. During lockdown, Helena had to stay away from most people as she has an autoimmune illness so became inspired to write poetry. Her most recent role was girl in Kilkenny, KY a short play on Zoom as part of AboutFace Theatre Transatlantic Tales production in association with The Civic Theatre, Tallaght it included a number of other plays, actors and writers from Ireland and the US.