It was almost a living thing, large and smothering that pinned us down and which seems to have shed hairs everywhere, I’m still finding them, clearing them away.
Days melted into each other alone in this vessel of a house plunging deep depths of fears and anxieties climbing swallowing waves to see clear skies. Gradually ending more and more days with a muttered “That was a good one, wasn’t it?”.
Absorbing ourselves in the minutia of gardening seedlings as companions, hope for some future and canny planning for food supplies. A returning shopper asked what is it like out there as they washed clothes, hair and body and we wiped clean all they had brought back. No eggs this time.
Remembering the first UK Lockdown, in March 2020, an unsettling frightening time.
We are not out of the woods yet. This past week we have been isolating with a sick adult son who was in contact with a confirmed Covid case. We are waiting for test results, but the labs are slow due to 1.6 million poeple isolating this week and getting tested!
At least in full lockdown we were allowed to leave the house for exercise — I’m feeling very confined.
Fret not too much — so far, the effects are light.
Dawn creeps across the land Shining her pale light into nests Causing baby birds to call for food Dormice to rub their eyes and blink Ants to speed up their hurrying and scurrying She reaches up to wash the sky with pale blue And a hint of rose at the east And , as a special treat today, the west Smiling to herself as the world awakes She feels a certain self satisfaction as the Sun With a near audible plop Detaches itself from the horizon Then like any other woman Readies herself for a busy day
Waking up with Nanny in her soft double bed the room white and pink with swans and roses Sunday morning and you would bring milky tea Hot in her best rose gold china cup and saucers we would sip, little fingers raised as you left Before we too rose
Later, your Saturday visits to our house bringing a bounty of colourful comics to read And a secret pocket of sweets, for Mum not to see How my brothers and I took you for granted Never noticed the shining love in your eyes
Your hand grasping mine in supplication As they wheeled you, protesting to surgery from which you did not return, your faltering loving heart finally stopping Under the anaesthetists care
You tread on the tail of my eye carving crosswise through the crowd that flows into the station we greet with hugs, kiss cheeks talk of our priceless opportunity of a week together after so long apart
Later, rinsing sorrow away we linger out a hundred glasses of wine the clarity of close friends filling small talk a lucid moon keeping us awake and after we’re drunk, we’ll sleep all heaven our blanket, earth our pillow
They looked and turned away Londoners afraid to interact With the girl sitting, weeping On a stinkingly hot day in the city Exclaiming that she had gone blind Oversized suitcase abandoned near her feet My feet Someone pushed a cold drink into my hand A woman’s voice comforted me A stranger joined me on the step, asked where I was going Told me that a long hot walk carrying a load Had affected my sight Sat until, miraculously, my sight returned Then left Pulling myself to my feet I retrieved the offending suitcase Slowly made my way to the Tube station Continued my journey, moving from London to Oxford Changing university, leaving friends and home city Aiming for a Doctorate, I should have noted the omen For I found loneliness and failure