Never Alone

I am watching the news. Then the One Show is on.

I live on my own. Find out what’s going on.

They tell me it kills us, it spreads, the new strain
They tell me to stay home. Some numbers again
They can’t quite agree if it’s good or it’s bad
Some seem to cast doubt on the vaccine we’ve had
They cut to a woman who cries at the screen
And they ask her her feelings about what she’s seen.
All the deaths, all the sickness, the pain and the tears
“Must be like a production line – tell us your fears…”
Then the financial toll, and the businesses gone
And the boarded up shops and the damage it’s done
And the ‘kids’, mums and dads learning/working from home
How they’re damaged, those ‘kids’ – always being alone
Their careers will be ruined, their lives just a shell
And their parents can’t cope any more, they’re in hell.
Politicians nod sagely, and Sage nod right back
From their rostrums they tell us that there is a lack
Of some info, but best guesses are that or this
Or the other. Or something. Or nothing. Don’t miss
The key messages. Hands, face and space and stay home
I’m at home here. I’m living through this on my own.
Some statistics re deaths and of who’s had the jab,
Some block charts and graphs and results from the lab
An interview follows, to analyse what
Was said in the briefing, more important what’s not
Being said/being done/being shared/understood
So there’s much more to worry about, so we should
Remain vigilant, act like we’ve got it and stay
In our homes, only leaving to jog once a day.

Well that’s that then. The one show now.
Oh, someone died.
It’s a tribute. Some music. The host has just cried.
There’s a film which is misty. A song fills the room
You’re never alone, it says, teasing my gloom.
Then an actor pays tribute with tears in his eyes
And just mentions how hard it is for all the ‘guys’
In showbiz who are so missing doing live shows
The presenter looks sad again. He says he knows.

There’s a panda who’s sliding on snow. Something light
To give cheer, in the midst of all this – in our ‘fight’.
But we’re never alone, says the man on TV
He is smiling – a serious smile, straight at me.
I’ll just look at the panda. I’ll watch, all night long
Sliding down in the snow, as though nothing were wrong.
Sliding down in the cold, on his back, all alone
Sliding down in the snow, destination unknown.
In this madness, this ward full of madness and pain
It will medicate me. I must watch it again.

Sliding down in the ice I am cold to the bone
But they tell me on TV I’m never alone.

Jenny Knight
2021

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