A poem written on the first anniversary of the UK’s start of lockdown. (March 2021)
This poem is part of the Royal Society of Literary Write Across London project (https://rsliterature.org/write-across-london)
A year of Covid gone by.
I remember my first covid patient and how I cleared a path in my full PPE shutting down the hospital corridors.
I remember suddenly myself and colleagues being compared to heroes or those fighting wars.
I remember the first covid positive hand I held, terrified at first but her need for human contact greater than my own fear.
I remember my first covid death, and all too well I remember my own first covid tear.
I remember traveling on empty trains to ghost-town stations. Streets with no cars, no people no sounds.
Empty Christmas lit shops, closed down restaurants, London City with no crowds.
I remember my mask so tight on my face it left a bruise.
I remember a time not one of us could have imagined in this year what we would all lose.
I remember survivors happily walking away. All those who fought so hard to live another day.
I remember wards full of terrified faces.
The staff behind masks, the tsunami of more and more covid cases.
I remember the ones I have lost, their eyes glazing over as the last breath they did take.
How I smiled and reassured junior staff even though my own heart was about to break.
I remember empty playgrounds locked under padlock and key.
How until I’d showered again, my children couldn’t touch me.
And I remember so clearly the strength and dedication of all those around me.
My colleagues wearing gowns, gloved hands with only their eyes I could see.
I remember the day the schools again became noisy and full.
On the banks of the Thames, people retuned no longer just a solidary seagull.
And I remember the sight of the loved ones we’ve missed,
And I think of a time soon when we can again be hugged and kissed.
A year of Covid gone by. To never forget I will always try.