Anywhere But Here

by Claire Morris

The last thing I want to be doing right now is writing poetry.
It’s the first time since last summer the sun has shone and I’m writing poetry!
Why, when I’ve spent weeks escaping the cold and rain under my duvet,
Must the sun insist on shining when it knows deadlines are only days away?
I aim for a compromise, drag my work outside and set up camp at the bottom of the garden.

Except, it’s not working.

The birds chirp and tweep, mocking me with their laughing songs,
Flitting back and forth… back and forth… back and forth over the wall,
Making it look so easy to just fly away…

But no, I have to write poetry.
My phone beeps; invites to pub lunches and picnics,
Temptations of road trips to the beach.
I’d give anything to be anywhere, anywhere but here,
To be laughing with friends,
To be driving full speed with the windows down and the music up high,
To dangle my feet in cool water,
Hot chips, cold beer and melting ice creams.

But no, I have to write poetry.
Why must I be working when the air is filled with the babble of children?
Indulgent afternoon play from tired teachers taking any excuse for a break.
I wish I was them again, swarms of butterflies in chequered summer dresses,
Excited, flying free from winter’s cocoon of grey.

But no, I have to write poetry.
I’d welcome any distraction, accept any chore, just so long as it would get me away from here.
My car’s looking dirty, perhaps I could wash it?
And then of course dry it, and wax it, and hoover every corner inside?
Why stop there?
I’ve been meaning to clean the kitchen and de-frost the fridge,
To polish the windows and vacuum the stairs.
There’s weeds in the garden, and socks to be ironed, and the spice rack needs to be alphabetised.
But no, I have to write poetry.

Perhaps I’ll just make a quick cup of tea…

Claire Morris is a second year student from Bath who’s desperately trying to disguise her often weird imagination as genuine bursts of creativity – is it working?

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