A Year Of Covid Gone By (poem)

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.

Published by @NicolaP

Nurse, Mum, nature lover. Sharing memoir extracts of nursing and living through the covid pandemic.

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