Lockdown Afternoons

by Frances Malaney

The empty beer cans are left neat on the garden bench;
the bench where he sits outside at the front of the house,
because that is where the sun shines in the afternoon.
He must need that, I think, to sit in the sun,
to feel its warmth on his skin.
I see him, my neighbour, sat alone holding his beer can close,
drinking one can, then another,
sat in the sun feeling the warmth on his skin,
trying not to feel anything else,
especially this new grief that spreads over his skin
like a summer frost, as each day closes cold around him
and she is gone.