door 2
Lima, Peru, 29 April 2020, COVID-19 Lock-up
by Rose Mary Boehm

These bars surprised me when we bought
the flat. Hated living behind bars.
But most people in the days of the terror
lived behind bars, and soon they
made me feel safe
in Lima, the town of thieves.

Coronavirus, and the bars are no longer
in place to keep out, but to keep in.
How many weeks has it been?
Too many, too few… It’ll be a while
yet. There are those who don’t believe.
Who defy the orders, authorities
who can be bought, too many who
drink, dance and make merry,
too many who die.

A conspiracy of death. The elderly, the young,
the black, the white, the gay, the poor, the evil,
the out of work, the workers,
and prisoners.

And we have become prisoners
of reason and of fear.
The front door opens,
the gateway to another world.
Trapped inside by nano aliens.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I live in a country that was torn by what many people call a civil war, but what even more people want to call terrorism. It was a bad time, and there were indeed terrorists who blew up what they could, often indiscriminately. That’s what gave birth to the bars at doors, bars instead of fences, bars protecting windows. When we moved here from Europe, it was a bit of a shock, but the reasons were clear and I learned to live with them.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: German-born, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of two novels and Tangents, a full-length poetry collection published in the UK in 2011, She’s a three-time winner of the Goodreads monthly competition. Recent poetry collections are From the Ruhr to Somewhere Near Dresden 1939-1949: A Child’s Journey and Peru Blues or Lady Gaga Won’t Be Back. Her latest full-length poetry manuscript, The Rain Girl, will be published by Chaffinch Press in 2020. Visit her at