Late Night Poetry #19: To A Stranger

By Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash

The cat is sleeping on the bed,
and my laptop feels cold to the touch,
in this second year of a global pandemic

Forgive me for writing this letter
out of the blue, interrupting your day,
but I wondered if it would make you smile

I don’t know you,
but I would like to think that
we have some things in common

Like maybe both our governments
are handling this badly,
fumbling from one crisis to the next

Or maybe you have changed,
lost some friendships, or gained some,
or strengthened the ones you have

Perhaps, like me, you have only just
begun to enjoy reading again,
after a year of accumulating new books

I know that our worlds have shrunk
to lit squares, green parks, doomscrolling,
but maybe spring is the vaccine our minds need

It’s strange, isn’t it, the way life changes,
the cyclical nature, even when standing still,
the pains we notice, the joys that mean more

Like the soft, warm, curled body of my cat,
her nose tucked into her tail, having an afternoon nap,
whilst I write you a letter in poetry, which remains unread.

© Elizabeth Ward, 2021.


I wrote this two weeks ago but thought it would be appropriate to commemorate a year since the eve of the first UK lockdown last year. I used a prompt from Winter Tangerine‘Write a Letter to a Stranger’. I’m also posting this as a late entry for Pepper Day, the 22nd of each month (for yesterday).

I’m thinking of the losses we have all experienced, some of us more than most, of the way things have changed and shrunk (or maybe even expanded in other ways), and the people who are no longer here. I’m thinking of how far we have to go, and the freedoms we don’t yet or no longer have. And I also dream of a better world, and I’m full of gratitude for the things that have seen me, my friends, and my loved ones through this year.

2 thoughts on “Late Night Poetry #19: To A Stranger

  1. So much has happened in one year, hasn’t it? But still, the year passed like a flash.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Probably because we absorbed too much in such a little time. I think that is why it is called unprecedented.

    Liked by 1 person

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