Frontline, a poem written by Elizabeth Barton at
Nathan Van De Graaf



written by: Elizabeth Barton



Supermarkets become a frontline of battle
(don’t mention the toilet paper, or the brawl
over the last chicken in a Hawkes Bay store).

Buying groceries is a military operation,
full metal jacket; surgical mask, rubber gloves,
a vial of hospital-grade sanitiser

fit to knock me out if I inhale too deeply.
My mask practically blinds me as I fumble,
glasses steam up as I thumb through my list.

Dodging bullets of any innocent cough is a new art;
aisles are trenches, the enemy swift and unseen;
I dart through my chores with a sniper handcart.

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