Where have all the children gone?
Cooped up in their houses
like hens in a battery farm.
The silence deafening,
the concrete paths bare.
The bounce of a ball
no longer echoes on the road.
No footballs kicked over fences.
No bubbles floating along the wall.
No planting seeds with ‘Pops’ at Number 31.
No shouts, cries, cheers, laughter, or tears.
All prisoners of a virus,
not wanting to come to harm.
This is no April Fools;
where have all the children gone?
New babies have been born,
tut seen through the sitting-room window.
While mothers get crafty, becoming teachers.
And kids on their phones communicate
with friends, on Instagram or TicTok.
Weeks of this lockdown to endure.
Leo imposed the measures you see,
to ensure that the children return
to being kids at play, outdoors,
with fresh air, having fun, every day.
It will happen; but soon, please!
Lourda Delaney is from Athy in Co. Kildare. She has two children. Lourda admires Paula Meehan, Eavan Boland, and Simon Armitage. She is a student of creative writing at Carlow College, St. Patrick’s. She has read her poetry in VISUAL, Carlow and has featured in the annual Carlow College, St. Patrick’s Literary Awards and Creative Writing Showcase. Her work has been published in A New Ulster magazine.