Mary Burgerhout


Lockdown – such a vulgar term; such a loathsome reminder of two years spent in confinement for what the prurient English considered the sins of the flesh, if sins indeed they were. To be locked in for 23 hours daily, and allowed out only for one hour of exercise, is but one of many trials endured by those who are put in prison. And yet, isolation is often preferable to the company of others. Bores were curiously abundant in the strata of society I dominated before England disowned me. One can put up with anything except such people – they deprive one of isolation without providing one with company. I would sooner take tea with an east-end barrow-boy than listen to the tedious ramblings of a duchess in her Belgravia salon.


Not There

The solemn rituals of death are past
And family and friends now step away.
As solitude unchecked beckons at last
I face the first of many lonely days.
I wander through each room, forever changed
Yet with a thousand memories of you
And contemplate a future – frightening, strange
Without my love, my life, to see it through.
And oh! the coming home from work to find
All as it was when morning saw me leave
Not there to move a teacup, close the blind
Not there, the aching void left unrelieved.
We, fallible, must bear a two-edged cross
The fleeting joy of love, the pain of loss.

About the Author

Mary Burgerhout writes the odd bit of poetry and enjoys contributing to HW’s “homework” exercises, especially if a rant is called for. She is a Gaelic speaker who writes, translates and instructs in her native language as the occasion demands.