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Writing by Hannah Burns. Illustration by Hazel Laing.

The buses were purposeless

Following their routes round the empty-once-full streets


Pulling up to ghost stops.

The piston hiss of the doors

The soulless automaton voice announcing

But then the silence

The lack

The lack of steps

of thank yous, cheerses, nods,

clanking bumping into chairs, beeps, babies, heavy tesco bag grunts

It’s the lack that was just awful.

We’re emerging again now

I saw the number 30 today

I saw a family standing at the side of the road

get their feet splashed

and bend double, and with mouths pulled wide


Everything is re-busy

Re-busy, and the absence of lack is palpable!

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