no returns and no refunds

I’ve ordered several things I do not want

Or like.

There was the coat that was too tight,

It’s plastic zipper straining at the seams.

The waffle maker breaking on day one,

And the shoes I never wore.

I could have sent them back,

Got my refund,

Tried out something else.

But now that I have something that I really hate,

Something none of us can send back in the post,

I wonder how I’ll deal with that?

I can’t stuff this one in a closet,

Close the doors and try forgetting that it’s there.

This, I have to hold on to,

I have to see it through,

Make friends with it.

It’s hard to love a thing that terrifies our human soul,

But sometimes it is necessary

For us to learn,

To grow,

And change our ways that went unquestioned

For longer than they should.

the shock of the fall

The shock of the fall

Is much worse than the impact.

Bones shattering on cold concrete

Once sounded enough

To grind teeth in disgust.

Now we almost look forward,

To that sudden jar of stars.

We think it will be sweet release

From this endless downward rush.

I remember when I was in Year 11 which was way back in the Y2K, we read an extract in our English class. It was about an old man who just wanted to go out for a walk in a society where everyone was ordered to stay inside.

I think the fact that I love walking was the reason that this piece of writing stuck with me over all these years. It scared me that there could ever come a time when police would make us return to our homes. I thought for almost twenty years that it was too ridiculous to ever really happen. And then the year 2020 happened.

But it’s the shock of it actually happening that is the hardest thing to deal with. That piece of writing obviously had an effect on me because I remember it from 20 years ago. But as time has marched on, travel has become more common and it just seemed ridiculous that I would see such a thing in my life time.

This has come so quickly, and so ‘out of the blue’ that it’s taken me by surprise and made me feel really anxious. I am quite comfortable living in my flat with food and electricity so it’s no real hardship just yet. It’s the free falling and seeing how quickly things are changing that have done me the most damage.

If you are like me, and thrive on routine, I’m sure that you are also suffering. Just stay calm and remember that in this very moment you are fine. You are alive and hopefully well. We have no real control over what is happening so we just have to go with it. The panic comes in the struggle against the fall.

Something beautiful has to come out of the train wreck that we are witnessing at the moment. We need to all love each other and be responsible and we will get to the other side.

Much Love

Rachel xx

An ode to the shelf stacker

Yesterday I felt embarrassed

To tell the world what job I did.

I dreaded when they asked

I hated puckered, disappointed faces

When I said that I stacked shelves.

*

Today I’m feeling rather proud.

Today I am a cog, an important one

That helps the country lurch along

In desperate and uncertain times.

*

Those people who were so judgemental,

Now they breathe a sigh of beautiful relief

When they see the store is open,

When they see that they can buy

The things they need to stay alive.

*

So never twist your face in mock disgust

When a person does their best.

There may just come a dark and deadly day

When you’re the one with little use

And the lowly stacker of the shelves

Becomes the hero of the day.

My name is Rachel and I work in a petrol station. I was an A grade student at school and I have a handful of degrees but that doesn’t seem to have helped me in my career.

And I spent a long time feeling really embarrassed that I was only doing a job that I could have done without any qualifications. I had the look of scorn from old school friends whenever they came into the store and it really did dent my confidence.

But it sometimes takes a huge crisis to realise that you’re not as useless as you thought you were. All of a sudden, the person working as a Marketing Director isn’t really needed. When everyone is scrabbling for food and work and hoping to stay alive, status will do very little for you.

The sad thing is that it shouldn’t have taken the virus for me to realise my worth. I am in work and contributing to society. I pay taxes and National Insurance. I am a single mother and bringing up my son is an important job in itself.

So what if I stack shelves for a living. And so what if you’re not proud of where you are in life as far as your career is concerned. Just make sure that you are being a nice person and serving the world as best you can.

Much Love

Rachel xx

loneliness

Inside the curvature of glass

The outside world is warped and out of shape.

Images are upside down and inside out

While sounds just bounce against the dome,

Coming neither in nor out.

I have been shaken up and down

And tiny flecks of plastic snow

Are choking lungs and stick to skin.

Infuriating,

To the point of making

This girl want to end it all.

Just save me from my tiny globe

And let me live in holy commune

With my fellow man.

We are living in really scary times at the moment and a lot of people will be struggling with loneliness as we all start to retreat and isolate. Older people are the most vulnerable and they are the ones who are going to be feeling the effects of being alone.

I don’t know anything about the science behind what is going on, but I do know that we need to be thinking of people who have nobody around them at this stressful time. Loneliness can play with people’s mental health and the effects can be devastating.

Also, I think it might be worth mentioning that panic buying is doing nobody any favours. There is no toilet paper anywhere and I can’t understand why a household of two people need 27 loo rolls. Let’s try and share our resources and make sure that nobody is going without.

Stay safe guys and keep talking to each other (nicely) over the internet, because it might be the only human contact that some people are getting. A nice message might feel like a life line to some.

Much Love

Rachel xx