It’s like a tap dripping. None of her taps are guilty, but the sense of unease pools and spills across her floor.

She checks the cellar. The dim light shows outlines of stacks of tinned food, long-life milk, fuel, matchboxes and candles. She thought about moving them to the attic, away from the risk of damp, vulnerability to rising tides. But the attic could see the roof blown by a tornado.

There’s no room in her well-stocked kitchen, the dining room now a drying room since the tumbler dryer was ousted. Her bedroom has onions drying in the wardrobe, bulbs secreted in the corners ready for planting next season, a freezer prepped with pre-cooked meals to defrost and heat. Will it be enough when crops fail? the question spiders her mind. She won’t have clutter in the lounge. The woodpile by the burner is bad enough.

She justifies her internet connection as a crucial means of communication with others who understand extinction is on the horizon. She curls on the couch and pulls her blanket around her.

The dripping tap sound starts up again.


Emma Lee’s publications include “The Significance of a Dress” (Arachne, 2020) and “Ghosts in the Desert” (IDP, 2015). She co-edited “Over Land, Over Sea,” (Five Leaves, UK, 2015), is Poetry Reviews Editor for The Blue Nib, reviews for magazines and blogs at // @Emma_Lee1


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