A Poem For A Modern Tragedy

I’m over at Esther Chilton’s blog, here, with a rather sombre poem… please go and say hi.

I wrote this after I listened to actress, Ruthie Henschell describing being allowed to visit and hold her mother one year after lockdown started and how her mother is now speechless and incapable of walking, all lost during her enforced isolation; a cruel death-in-life.

I’ve lost you to Covid.

In March we held hands. Shared memories and chocolates.

They closed the doors and the sun shone on the empty windows.

Your smile faded, like a slow sunset

Angry reds and bruised purples.

Others died and we maintained our unsocial distance.

Summer arrived, bringing hope and a new window,

The only rain battering it our tears as it stayed shut.

We locked gazes but we saw reflections of ourselves,

Just absences.

Our words drifted against the glass, familiar phrases beating that pane,

Deadened, turning you wordless.

Autumn’s bronzes set hard,

You sculpted yourself in your familiar seat

So still, breathing your silent despair.


We left winter’s bleak void for another hope:

A vaccine.

A new opening. A new promise.

Test, temperature and there you were.

I held you, those so familiar bony shoulders, tangy scent, that little scar.

But you’d gone, you’d left the building of your body.

A living breathing husk,


Saved by science, killed by kindness.

We shared treats but only I have the memories

And no one to share them with.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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34 Responses to A Poem For A Modern Tragedy

  1. Ritu says:

    So, so.poignant 🙏🏼😢💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruth says:

    Just beautiful, Geoff ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mick Canning says:

    Very well put, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Of a world thus covidnated. Words so often fail but these got pretty close Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Erika says:

    Wow, that goes so deep. This is so well conveyed of how well-meant protection turns into a personal tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sad poem but covers a sad situation so well. Thanks, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. and some are allowed to die because it is easier than to be encouraged to live…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. barbtaub says:

    It’s heartbreaking how much of what makes us human has been put on hold by the pandemic. Someday it will be over, but how much will be gone forever?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So painful; thanks for sharing this with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. JT Twissel says:

    How much we have lost … well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. OMG Geoff…… this hit me in the gut.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I heard that too. Beautiful response.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. willowdot21 says:

    Geoff this is just so very poignant and so true for so many. A beautiful poem on such a sad situation. 💜


  14. Norah says:

    Such a sad situation and only too true for far too many.


  15. KL Caley says:

    This is so touching. Beautifully captured. KL ❤


  16. Widdershins says:

    Well said, sir.


  17. Elizabeth says:

    I have never read such a perfect description of the choice to preserve life at the cost of losing the joy of being alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. trifflepudling says:

    If there were a Grayson’s Poetry Club, this would be in it 😔

    Liked by 1 person

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