In the time of lockdown – a poem by Marian Christie

In the time of lockdown

Each morning she kneels on the pavement
beside the cathedral’s locked gate.
Her floral skirt is bright against the concrete.

Sunbirds glint in jacaranda trees. The air
is winter-sharp. There are no passers-by
to observe the thin slant of her shadow,

her grace in solitude, hands clasped,
head bowed, her face hidden
by the floppy contours of her hat.

On the other side of the gate Christ, nailed
to a cross, awaits death and resurrection.
The light is unforgiving. It exposes

cracks in paving stones, hardens
the edges of things, etches
beneath Christ’s wreath of thorns, His pain.

Each morning she is there on the pavement
and Christ is there on His cross.
The gate between them, locked.


Marian Christie was born in Zimbabwe and has lived in Africa, Europe and the Middle East before settling in her current home in southeast England. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of journals, including Allegro Poetry,Amethyst Review, The Beach Hut, Black Bough Poetry and The Ekphrastic Review, and in the anthologies The Stony Thursday Book 2018 and The Bridges 2020 Poetry Anthology.

When not writing or reading poetry, she looks at the stars, puzzles over the laws of physics, listens to birdsong and crochets gifts for her grandchildren. She blogs at and can be found on Twitter:


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