Solitary Pandemic Birthday Poem read by the author

Courtenay S. Gray shares her solitary birthday party during lockdown in England in her poem “Confectionary Corner” from the international collection of pandemic/isolation verse, prose, and images Global Insides—the beginning. Please share with your students and friends. Courtenay is a twenty-three-year-old writer from the North of England. She has self-published two poetry collections and is currently working on a third collection which will feature fiction and poetry. She also guest-edits for Thorn Literary Magazine.


Confectionary Corner


My breath is ghost snow—dripping with melted ice cream,

Coca-Cola lingering on my liver like the 70 proof Russian vodka I drank as a teen,

Lights of a sun-bed cloud my mind like an adolescent fog,

my intraocular fluid occupied with tea and coffee,

The solitary circular window ripples with a summer balm,

Lockdown birthday filled with last year’s candles and a makeshift cake,

icing yellowed and aged,

Above all, I send a message to you on a wishing star,

You refuse to hear me out,

brushing away the stardust from your pillows and sinking into a lifeless dream,

When this is over, will we be together?

You take the thorn from the rose bush and pilfer my heart with an egregious lack of awareness,

Peering at a strawberry trifle,

the yellow custard turns my stomach,

I see the fatty lining of the bodies being buried by hazmat suits.


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