Faces

By Alison Oughton

Covid-19: UK death toll passes 100,000.
BBC, 26 January 2021

A hundred thousand faces missed,
a distanced grief; a photo kissed.
Your mum, their dad, beloved friend,
our touch denied them at the end.

Behind each loss, a name, a life:
a handsome husband, winsome wife.
This faceless thief who didn’t ask
to snatch your breath, despite your mask.

One face was a gran-in-waiting,
knitting, clicking, contemplating
the powdered scent of girl or boy,
but fate unstitched her newborn joy.

A hundred thousand tears will fall,
for faces in this memory wall.
Their locked-in pleas from every frame
cry count the cost; but say my name.

I am currently studying for an Arts and Humanities degree with the Open University, and I wrote Faces as part of a poetry assignment for my Creative Writing module.   I would encourage anyone to have a go at poetry – we all have something to say

During the initial months of lockdown the members of my family decided to keep in touch and keep our spirits up by sharing poetry which expressed our feelings and observations during the pandemic. Our efforts resulted in the publication of The Coronavirus Compendium, a mixed collection of our works.

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