The Quarantine Parlour Lady

by Theresa Peteranna

First, I tackle the books. A scythe to

whack away the piles grown along walls like

Japanese mugwort.


Second, I might dabble at paints.

Acrylics curdle. Blobs and brown swirls of oil

show I am no one’s apprentice.


Boring over recipe books can only do so much –

Flicking nail files can only do so much –

Only so long you can resist the static doom.


I lie to my gentleman caller by phone,

Like the news he bores me with a quiet, nihilistic dread.

Alone, I scroll before sleep – a mind of grids.


I melt in evenings of fires and gin.

Chomping on cheese and crackers,

I entertain old friends; Nintendo, flower presses, DVDs.


I dream wide, dizzy, heavy – worlds outside.

I always have such heavy dreams

in the cotton sheets of my parent’s house.



Theresa is a recent graduate of English, Film & Visual Culture at Aberdeen University. At the moment, she is the real-life graduate parlour lady, enjoying the luxuries of home in Inverness with her family’s new Jack Russell puppy. Her main interest is writing and she has many unfinished(!) novels, short stories and even some screenplays behind her. She also sews sustainable fashion garments, crochets, paints, does yoga, bakes increasingly time-consuming treats and cooks veggie feasts!

Theresa Peteranna reads her poem...