The Lesson

And my usual days have vanished like smoke;
Isolation burns like glowing embers.
And my heart is blighted, withered like dry leaves;
This will not be a time to forget.
There is distress beneath my breath aloud,
Life is reduced to its bare skin and bones.
I’m living as desert creatures do,
Wary of mirages, burrowing for cool,
Waiting out the heat of a global pandemic.

Alone I lie awake; I have become
like a frail bird without its flock.
At times loneliness haunts me;
Those who know me are now distancing.
I eat takeaways as my nutrition,
and mingle my drink with tears
because of my urban isolation.
My days are like an evening shadow;
Having entered it I’ve lost myself.

I am like the trailing sigh of the destitute;
None is yet to hear my guess,
That for future generations,
When all this is over and done with,
And new days are cast out of sorrow,
That in spite of the quintessence of them
Life cannot be as it were,
And can be locked down when necessary,
For reasons that might vary.

Francis Bede