On Life’s veranda
We stood there, timid and unsure.
What would the next day bring?
On the canal, a swan,
Her cob and cygnets foraged
With an aimless plan.
The news from Italy and from Spain
Was not good.
The lorries drove their slow-paced row
Through familiar place names,
Bergamo and Lake Como
Towards the crematorium.
Medical teams too succumbed,
Idealistic and brave, remembered,
Fatalistic fighters of the unknown,
Without an answer in their ambush.
A doctor, masked and gowned beyond recognition
Strived against natures mutations,
A virus thriving in unsuspecting crowds.
The heathers were good this year:
Springwood White, Springwood Pink,
Myretoun Ruby with a tinge of frost,
Frozen droplets doomed to evaporation
Ready for extinction.
This is Mother’s Day, with a history
Of a childhood story of a long ago,
And the terrors too of their unknown,
The helpless huddles waiting for “The Fever”
And how their Typhus toll was told.
On the Hill the walkers strove,
In apprehensive distance on their Sunday stroll.
The graph was steep today,
Yet not peaked.
Was there worse to come?
It was breathless on the hillside where they struggled,
But they knew that it would peak,
And from the hill they crested
In the hope that lay
Beyond this unknown.