A Covid Test at Christmas

by Stephen Watt


Silent Night

plays on Steve Wright’s Radio 2 show
and all car headlights on this motorway
streak off behind me
like belated-fireworks, detonating
in radiating fairy-lit town centres. 



Holy Night

scatters its dancing stars
where planes and sleighs
usually congest airport radars, but

All is calm, all is bright

where stewards in fluorescent jackets
hold signs like hope. Timely smiles
crease behind duck-egg blue masks.
Turn your engine off. Reflect. Relax.
You are safe in our hands.

Round yon virgin Mother and Child

and cone after cone
towards the temporary tents
where the Covid tests unfold.

Holy infant so tender and mild

in the car opposite me, waves
with one stitched teddy bear paw,
sucking on a pacifier like a swab.

Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace.



Stephen Watt lives in Dumbarton, Scotland and is the author of four poetry collections. Previously the Makar for the Federation of Writers (Scotland), Stephen has been the inaugural Poet-in-Residence at Dumbarton Football Club since 2016 and has edited two punk poetry collections on behalf of The Joe Strummer Foundation and Buzzcocks in recent years. Darren Anthony was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Largo, MD. After many successful years in fashion and later restaurant management Darren decided to pursue his love of photography. His work has been featured in Der Spiegel and Musée Magazines. He resides in Bed-Stuy, New York.