Mark Connors




Not again

You haven’t left the house all week
and blame the flu, but something else
has kept you in, cocooned in tog
of duck feather and down, books on your lap,
a cat and dog for company, Sky Movies on tap.

You sense the hills you’ve grown to love
but they’ve never seemed so distant
in this February tumult. Even the dog knows
it’s not as bad as it looks out there
and no matter how ill you think you are,
a walk up the lane to the tarn
would cure this shallow melancholy
that has no business here.
But what good are flu and sadness
if they don’t mark you in some way?

The weight of these days has bothered you;
though all is well and by 6 pm
the house will be full, laughter, a given,
there’s a tightness in your chest
that is more than just flu symptom:
a hacking doubt – you’ll not be part of this
when those you’ve fooled are wise to you.
But wise to what? You are little but yourself.
Though you made a mess of what you had before
would it take much effort to not do that again?
You put on your shoes, shake the lead at the dog,
open the door, raise your face to the rain.




Mark Connors is a writer from Leeds. He has been widely published in magazines, webzines and anthologies in the UK and overseas. His debut poetry collection, Nothing is Meant to be Broken, was published by Stairwell Books in 2017. For more info visit

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