A Covid Christmas Trio

on December 25, 2020
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An Exchange        I

 “You didn't send me your list yet?”
 I murmur a procrastination.
 Undecided whether to tell you 
 How I burnt the list.
Blowing the ashes into the night air
 On the breath of my own longing.

 In any case the gifts I want 
 No money can buy.
 Not now. Not this year.
 Not from anyone.
 A hug. A slow dance.
 A kiss.

 Like so many others
 We settle on a phone call.
 On Christmas Eve.
 At midnight.
 Our own communion.
 A memory of this strange year.

 Christmas Present    II

 “Surprise me!”
 You rebuff my demand.
 Calmly pointing out that 
 You can hardly be expected 
 To know what I want
 If I don't know what I want.

 I sulk at this logic.
 Jealous of Past Me.
 Who would have crossed water,
 Flown miles, clambered hills.
 Sure of my room at your inn
 At the end of my journeys.

 And oh so resentful
 of Present Me. 
 Restricted to 
 Virtual spaces
 And electronic dependencies
 To touch a face on a screen.

 Hesitantly hopeful that 
 Future Me, Future Us
 Will once again
 See each other unmasked. 
 And re-learn to hold hands
 Without terror.

 New Year’s Eve    III

 New Year's Eve - 
 A time of promise.
 Of new starts and fresh slates.
 But this past year has 
 Brought so much, so many
 I am tired of the strange. 
 Of becoming accustomed 
 To masked non-recognition
 And garbled internet speech. 
 Tired of the virtual
 I long for the personal 
 To be tangible once more.
 Not at a shadow digital remove.
 However, tonight 
 Physically distanced. 
 We shall dance.
 You and I
 On our individual screens.
 So that next year's eve
 Gorging on our touchability
 Sweaty and hand clasped
 We shall sway
 As if to never, ever part. 

Aduke Gomez is currently the Chair of the Steering Committee of Art4Life – an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Health established to introduce art and the practice of art into the entire healthcare process. Her recent children’s book “Lost And Found In Lagos” – a collaboration with Biola Alabi Media was selected as one of Channels TV Book Club Top Twenty Books for 2019.