My Step Father’s battle with Covid-19. A Haiku series by Holly Trundle

His breathing, like waves,
Ebbs and flows in long shallows
And fast, deep scurries.

In ‘Hampton Court Maze’;
Ensnared in its myriad turns;
A fevered Man burns.

Enemy, I see you there.
Now come and fight; I’m ready!

Selfless sanity
Pierces the darkness, supine;
Upright, my Mum sleeps.

Open doors and cast shadows
Set the scene for unseen footfalls.

How much are we missed,
I wonder, when we fall from sight?
is it noticed?

At midnight, Methodist Hymns gave balm
In a way not met by ‘Hymns and Psalms’.

His violent coughing
Shakes me, two rooms away: Death
Water flooded lungs.

Dragging breath to strangled lungs,
He sits within my arms, panting.

Cinquain for John

He’s gone.
Doesn’t seem real :
He was here this morning;
Panting; psalming; Calming; just there,
Then gone.

She sits and sighs; lost;
Bathed in thoughts strong as sunlight
Stretched through the long days.

She looked for him this morning,
At the Kidney Hour, lost soul.

‘Stay in the Flat, Mum.’.
‘I heard him speaking to me.’
‘A dream, Mum. He’s dead.’.

Clock ticks, like footsteps
Marking early hours’ progress,
Beating time; watchful.

Emerging light dawns
Outside a world of darkness
In our living tomb.

Deceased’s logistics
Occupy my wakeful mind
In the early hours.

Seen in my mind’s eye,
His form, in zipped plastic, bent
And bumped out of sight.

Black plumed dignity
Veils the commonplace routine
Of the Death process.


Hello. I left my home in Norfolk two years ago, to join my Mum and Step Father near London, as their live-in Carer and Companion to my Mum, who has dementia. They celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary, Mum’s 82nd birthday and my Step Father’s 90th birthday in a series of joyful parties at the end of last year. On the 27th March, after five days of heroic battling, my Step Father died, at home, of bronchopneumonia probably secondary to coronavirus. Now, I look after my Mum, helping her to get from waking in the morning to finally facing getting into her lonely bed at around midnight. My Poetry, and my friends, help me to shoulder my burden and keep smiling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *