I wrote a poem in lock-down number one.
In fact I wrote many but this one, this one went ‘viral.’
It went viral because the country was in a position it had never been in before.
A pause on life.
A halt to absolutely everything we knew.
A silence we had never dreamed possible.
It was terrifying to be us.
We woke up every day thinking ‘what now?’
This poem spoke of the world ‘stopping’.
It spoke of the empty streets, the planes on the ground.
It spoke of the lost hugs, the missed family, the heart-breaking choice to stay away from those with little time left.
And it resonated so much because the pain we all felt was real.
It was breathtaking sometimes.
This poem ended, with a verse of hope.
The promise of future touch, of reunions, of more kindness.
Of rewards for our patience and diligence with your rules.
I have never seen a response like it from my audience and I have never seen so many people in so much misery.
Despite the lovely weather, we were fighting a battle to stay afloat.
We missed last moments, we missed anniversaries, we missed weddings, we missed births, we missed birthdays and we missed freedom.
We placed our children in isolation and saw them draw rainbows in the window like prisoners.
So, when you talk of things ‘you got wrong’, you are in the wrong playing field entirely.
This was so much more than that to us, because you made it so.
You told us to do our bit, to play our part.
And some of us never saw their loved ones again…whilst we did as we were told.
There are few words you can utter right now which will bring back the time we sacrificed but you could start with a resounding apology.
Not for getting ‘things wrong’ but for putting your people through hell.
And then mocking us behind the scenes with your own set of rules.
We won’t forget. We cannot.
Trauma lingers and our children will be forever changed by this historic period of time.
A garden party would have done us all so much good,
especially the NHS staff who broke themselves to save us all…
Despite the ‘lovely weather’ we could not.
That’s what you told us,
that’s what you made into ‘law’,
that’s why you will never have our trust again.
And a leader with no trust, is not a leader at all.
©️Donna Ashworth Words: