Death Before Covid

By Lucy Lloyd

Holding your hand, I feel,
I think I feel,
Your fingers move.
I tell my brothers.
I talk about flowers,
Snowdrops, daffodils and the cherry blossom.
It won’t be long til it covers the tree.
And someone kindly says to me:
They can hear, you know,
It’s the last sense to go.

Your eyes fly open.
But it’s nothing to do with us.
You travel away and you never look back.
Left behind in that cool room, we stare.
We lean on the thin air.
Then we breathe, for the first time for hours.
We are all orphans now.

We feel elated as we walk through the car park.
The coin machine is an alien installation,
Crouched, flashing, imponderable.
None of us can work it out.
We hold our eyes up to the darkening sky
And the pathway for leaving the planet is still there
Hanging golden beneath the clouds.

I’m writing alongside my work as a science communicator and in the gaps between all the busy moments of being a pandemic mother. I think poetry appeals to me now because it’s an attempt to capture the ideas and vivid memories that surge during these long days. Most of my recent poems are not about the pandemic at all but about distant feelings and memories and it was hard to choose one that has obvious relevance. This one was about my fathers death more than ten years ago – which now seems almost ideal. 

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9 months ago

Love this. So beautiful. It gives me hope in a strange way.

9 months ago

This us a very moving poem.

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