April 2020. A poem by Donna Hunter

In April 2020
Winter brought it home
Spring is now on hold
Summer is yet unknown.
In April 2020
Painted rainbows are pinned to house windows
People self-isolate in city lock-downs
Handshakes, hugs and kisses are banned
We must cough into our arm, not our hands
Keep safe distances, use Zoom and FaceTime.
In April 2020
Businesses buckle under stress and strain
Financial bail outs – furloughs – to blame
The elderly in care homes are forgotten
The homeless and vulnerable die in poverty
Prisoners are released with their sentence intact
Student medics and volunteers pick up the slack.
In April 2020
Funeral homes become overrun
Pop up morgues; mass burials now the norm
Holidays and weddings are put on hold
We’re fined for travelling to second homes
Must wear masks – exercise within a 2km zone
Wash hands to the Happy Birthday song.
In April 2020
Children play indoors with family
Screen time is rationed – board games are back in fashion
The 9 to 5 is the work-from-home-classroom
College and university exams are emailed as ‘cancelled’
A baby boom kicks in for parents bored of one
Domestic violence is on the rise – no surprise.
In April 2020
We strip shelves bare in sheer panic and greed
Buy more toilet rolls and hand sanitiser than is needed
Eat less meat, grow our own, plant seedlings
Buy flour, bake bread, get shopping in for two weeks
Online book and coffee hubs replace trips to the pub
We make do and mend without salons or trends
Learn to fix and decorate without tradesmen
Applaud essential workers – those on the frontline
The one per cent daub them, heroes.
In April 2020
Long drawn-out wars are no longer broadcast
Whilst we fight the war on Coronavirus
We’re told not to wallow in news stories
Mental health is affected by Pandemics
Faith is practiced online via webcam
No access to sacraments, bread or wine
Empty Mosques and churches fall silent
No bells to ring, no choirs or calls to sing
We look to the stars in clear skies above
Devoid of planes, emissions and smog
The air smells fresh but carries deadly pathogens
Police disperse crowds and issue fines in parks
For not keeping a safe – six feet apart
Wards close to those not needing ventilators
Ambulances collect body bags, all too frequently
No time for goodbyes, last kisses or final wishes.
In April 2020
The Government says:
‘We’re in This Together’
#StayHome #StaySafe #SelfIsolate


Donna Hunter is a theatre producer and new writer. She lives in Belfast with her teenage daughter and dog.


  1. Donna, I see your work as being able to motivate a cast of characters. Each in turn argues for their values about preserving the sanctity of life, or the importance of sustaining our economies. Wealth generation or health preservation? How to come to terms with death? What is expendable or not, in terms of human abilities. A background chorus could underscore as appropriate their condemnation or approbation of the moral dilemmas and how each character type is struggling with the competing forces in their minds.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Irene.
      I would agree with you.
      There are many difficult choices to make in these dark times. It’s comes down to each individual to make the right one for them – in the situation they are presented with and provided that they have the luxury or opportunity to do so.

  2. Very touching xx

    1. Thank you Briege ☺

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