Poem: Rest Now

Poem: Rest Now

Kingston poet Zoe McAvoy reflects on lockdown in her moving poem


My kids pointed out my grey hair today

and I thought of the hairdressers.

You should rest now.

When this is over, you’ll be so busy

with all the women

desperate for a hair cut and dye.

And I thought of the nail technicians

and the women on the beauty counters

and the masseuses and how

they should rest now.


Because the people will want to

look good

and dress up

and be touched

and held


And have their dried out old hands massaged

and soothed

and their aching tired bodies touched

and squeezed

and mended.

And you will want to look after them

like never before

because they looked after us.


And I thought of my florist friend

and how she should rest now

because once this is over

people will want flowers

to send to those that kept us safe

to say thank you.

Thank you to the nurses

and the carers

and the doctors

and the bin men

and the shop workers

and the delivery drivers


And great big thank you bouquets to the teachers from the parents

who now Get It.


And the builders

and the painters

and the plasterers – you must try to rest now

for when this is over you will be so busy



all the DIY that’s been done.


And I thought of my chef friends

and waiter friends

and pub friends and how they ought to rest now because when this is over,

the people will want to dress up and Go Out

to see each other

and talk

and laugh

and feel light

and looked after

and you will be ready.

And you will want to look after them like never before because they were kind

and did a good thing.

And my friends in the arts –

the actors,

the singers,

the writers,

the painters,

the filmmakers.

You must rest now for when this is over,

My gosh you will be busy.

To help us reflect,

to process,

to heal,

to learn

in that wonderful way only art can do.


And if you are worried about money,

please try not to be.

We’ve got you.

And if we have to, we will fight with you

and for you ‘til the right thing is done.


Poem Rest now by Zoe McAvoy