A message received, was it timely or not?
A whisper of fear and the shame that it brought.
Rushing out wildly to lay in supplies,
Both wanting and fearing the truth and the lies.
Was courage a villain who’d kill those we love?
Should we hide or resist in our masks and our gloves?
While scientists argued and medicines weighed
Not by their relief but the price that we paid.
A prison of dread.
Shut the world out
And you won’t join the dead.
When distance meant love, and it broke all our hearts,
Longing to help with no clue where to start.
Opinions for truth, as if we couldn’t tell
The difference between as we built our own cells.
When loved ones died lonely in hospital beds,
Heartbroken silence and counting up heads.
People are numbers, don’t let that be you.
And nobody knows anymore what is true.
A prison of lies.
Shelter at home
And you won’t have to die.
Our churches were shuttered, our God hid from sight,
Our faith nonessential–don’t put up a fight.
Schools were all closed and the students sent home,
Too many succumbed as despair claimed its own.
Each breath from our bodies a killer unseen,
Ashamed of our own lives, no way to demean
An enemy no one could fight nor perceive.
So, close up your business and learn how to grieve.
A prison of pain.
How can you fight
When there’s nothing to gain?
We all learned to fear that which once gave us pride,
Belief is your captor—you must choose a side.
Not that it matters, the rich count their wealth,
Our liberties canceled because of our health.
When love became exile from all we held dear,
Crushed dreams formed a vessel that no one could steer.
Our leaders grabbed more as their power increased,
And bade us revere them as sanity ceased.
A prison denied.
Find a way back
Or they’ll steal all our lives.
It turned out I had more to say about Covid than just a short story. I wrote this both as a reflection of the moment we’re in, and also thinking about what I would say to my grandchildren if they ever asked me what it was like to live through this pandemic. Everyone’s answer would probably be a bit different, but this one is mine.
Also, I would like to credit Christovam for the words “when distance meant love,” in their song Andra Tutto Bene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N8kJT6Tb64&t=77s.
You can create any mental music you like to go with these lyrics, or none at all, but what I hear is a guitar intro with finger-picking, and then a full-on metal chorus with a screaming lead guitar. And a thundering bass. : )