An overexposed film image of a woman wearing a facemask

Poem | Resolute

One year ago today, we were told to simply stay at home.

Lockdown One in the UK began with a national broadcast from the PM at 8pm. I watched on my own, in my little flat, feeling the inevitability of it all after weeks of anxious news-watching. I was calm, but my body betrayed me by shaking like a leaf. 

Twelve months later, I don’t think any of us could have expected we’d still be spending the majority of our days in our homes. It’s been a year since we’ve had no restrictions at all. I can’t really remember what it’s like to feel completely relaxed in the company of others, or while out and about.

I’ve been see-sawing between reflecting in awe of where the time has gone, and feeling incapable of really comprehending what has happened. It’s almost too much for my brain to take in. 

But, of course, I wanted to write something about it.

Poetry lends itself so well to this situation. It allows for a few words to explore a huge topic. You don’t have to say it all literally; but if you choose the right words, you can share so much more than what’s on the page.

I’ve attempted to summarise my feelings in this poem – Resolute.

This is, in fact, the first of two pandemic poems I’ve penned to mark this dark anniversary.

I hope it speaks to you.

Resolute.

I’ve not seen you since a year ago;
I mean, I’ve seen you, that’s for sure,
though only by the screen’s blue glow;
I’ve heard your voice, but only when you’re
not on mute.

I haven’t felt you for too long,
your hands in mine, warm, soothing me;
your arms wrapped ‘round me, holding strong,
united for an hour or three.
Love, absolute.

I haven’t been there for a while,
set foot outside, explored anew,
roamed further than a few short miles;
it feels as though both I and you
have taken root.

I haven’t felt like me so much.
Perhaps this time I’ve changed for good;
from hurt, boredom, or lack of touch.
This year has ennui chasing me
in hot pursuit.

I haven’t lived each day of mine.
I haven’t felt much hope or peace.
I haven’t said the words “I’m fine”
with much truth, or felt a release.
Life, destitute.

I haven’t only lost but gained:
perspective, pounds, a slower pace.
While we’ve had loves and lives constrained,
we’ve done our best in heartbreak’s face.
Resolute.

Read more of my poetry:

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