The morning starts with a tiresome battle to slit
and peel skin that fits smoothly as a seal’s.
It’s encasing two tubs of vitamin capsules
but my fingers can’t find leverage and anger
blazes as the sleek containers continue to cling
in their see-through wrapping like inseparable lovers.
Nowadays, everything arrives cosied in plastic:
sultanas, tissues, pears, jumpers, knickers,
the mattress that was tricky to manoeuvre upstairs,
those newly-erected six-storey flats I scanned
yesterday as I walked over Regent’s Canal, each
swaddled in the stuff as if it couldn’t cope with rain.
In the night I dreamt I struggled through a wild sea
to an island of unrotted rubbish and weakling palms.
A sound of laboured breathing rose from the debris
and I knew plant roots underneath were striving
to survive. A dead grouper stared from a pram
which had lost all its wheels, someone screamed.
I turned, was just in time to see a woman
on a bed with legs parted and a midwife plucking
from her womb a baby sheathed in plastic sheeting.
© 2019, Myra Schneider
Acknowledge to Acumen magazine