Guest Poem by Virginia Betts

Virginia Betts is a tutor, writer, and actor from Suffolk. Her stories and poems have been published in books, literary magazines, and aired on BBC Radio. She collaborated with Hightide Theatre Company and The Wolsey Theatre on a short play about lockdown, Lullaby, and her first book of short stories, The Camera Obscure, will be published in 2022. Virginia is also playing the lead in The Suffolk Poetry Society’s All Change, a play in verse by Peter Sandberg, for their annual festival in 2022. She is currently working on her second collection of stories, a novel and publishing her poetry as a collection.

Two Benches

I never imagined this.
Outside a blank, white room,
with its blank, white walls.
Inside, the clock unwinds;
seconds drip steadily down the line,
waiting for nature to call time.

On a cold metallic bench
I wait, suspended;
Stop-motion faces speed by;
nothing changes,
but nothing is the same.

Streaming in, glassy light is prismed through the pane;
the sky bright and empty;
seagulls scream silently;
white ornamental frieze, framed against the blue.

And later, on a broken bench in the bay,
I watch the white-topped waves constantly returning home;
still in the blank, white room;
still seeing your blank, wide stare.