Ode to a world on its knees

a poem by C Lorna Nolan, UK

Ode to a world on its knees
The world weeps, is on its knees.
Crumbling beneath the weight of an unseen
In daily hundreds the love ones go, alone.
And the anguished cries go out into the night.
The prayers said are desperate pleas that seem
to bounce off the empty streets.

I pass my neighbour on the street,
but our gaze are fleeting across the gap
and even though we would like to ,
we dared not stop.
Each day I hear the numbers read
and cannot but imagine instead
the untold stories of the dead.

I think of health workers the world around
toiling so hard to keep those numbers down
and each time that they hold a stranger’s hand
or be that relative not close at hand.

They talk of bodies piling high
and I see the child without a dad,
the gran who couldn’t say goodbye,
that doctor making one last round
the nurse who didn’t go back home.

And as I watch from day to day
our leaders and the things they say ,
I cannot help but think how sad,
how vile the ruse,
the easy lies, the subterfuge.
All the time so little done
to stem the loss of those loved ones.

And I cringe each time at the daily toll ,
and imagine the trauma when it all unfolds.
But Captain Moore at ninety nine
with a great big heart made many proud
and showed us all the strength ,the courage,
and the value of the old.

For those who pray enough is said
to break the stronghold of the dead
but even as the close of day we hear the tally with dismay
and ask why God has turned away
and why the innocent always pay.

Oh, how we mourn our freedom lost
not truly stopping to count the real cost,
or sheer selflessness of those who gave their lives
in a deadly and seemingly unwinnable fight.

Twenty Twenty, a year for some began as norm,
the world around is remembered now
as the one that cast our continent
into a masked and sterile battleground,
where the lives of countless lie in hope
from this cataclysm to emerge.

Yet in an irony of fate
the world has come to recognise,
that celebrities and heroes
are those to whom we owe our lives.
The daily services they provide, that kept us sane and safe, alive .
And now as we look forward to the end,
we hope that tomorrow will be spent
learning how best to be our brothers’ friend.

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