The Ideal Time to Make Exceedingly Good Cakes


If you’re willing to self-isolate
When all are doing the same.
Or wash hands for twenty seconds
With no recourse to complain.

If you can join a trolley queue
That snakes a hundred yards.
And resist the urge to stockpile
Using contactless bankcards.

If you’ll mask up in Tesco
And give others a wide berth,
Even if they fill the aisle
With avaricious girth.

If you can master Zooming,
And online Scrabble, too.
Or WhatsApp your own family
Trapped in their human zoo.

If you can wipe your parcels,
Never signing for the gear,
And try to catch the courier’s eye,
But glimpse in it his fear.

If you can keep from bingeing
On stodgy comfort food,
And actually get dressed
Instead of lounging in the nude.

If you can bear to listen
To endless saddening news.
Or struggle through the days when you’re
So burdened with the blues.

If you can cut your hair without
It looking like your Gran’s,
Or appearing to have lost a fight
With Edward Scissorhands.

If you can follow Kipling
And always say you tried,
You’ll see this virus out, my friend
And reach the other side.

Marion Jay
(with apologies to Rudyard Kipling who, to the best of my knowledge, didn’t make French Fancies)