I see you, Covid Ward, Your Turn and Sam, Help Me! Poetry by Sam Smith

I see you

Your face, once so proud and
Rigid with earned authority,
Harbours beyond the marks life made
A softness and patience that radiates,
And I luxuriate in the new you.

My Mum, waving from your chair,
Fingers opening and closing like a flashing fist lamp
Catching my watchful eye through glass.
Scared to leave you unattended,
Years gone, mended, and I breathe.

Inside I help you walk
And you let me lead you, toddler-like, across the lounge world
To privacy. I help you undress…
Confused you kiss my neck
And in that moment, my heart bursts.

Looking up you see yourself
Reflected in all your faded glory,
A relic of a younger story. then
“Stupid Bitch”, you cast the mantra of a witch.
It’s not really you, Mum.

Smarting, I gently reprimand
Roles reversed, take command.
In parent mode I see the lack,
A dearth of self-worth always coloured your vision.
But it’s okay now…

I see you Mum.

Covid Ward

I imagine you there
I don’t know where, but
I see your white hair
Pasted to your tired head.
Still shining.

I wonder if your hands,
With yours and Grandma’s gold bands
Mix the air like conducting wands,
Their beauty and elegance
Still shining.

Mum the teacher,
The JP, Am Dram, moral preacher.
Intensely private, yet sociable creature,

Still shining.

Your Turn

And now it’s your turn Dad, Hospital At Home.
In between thin-legged stumbles,
Disoriented moments and health-state grumbles,
You find the where-with-all to give me my instructions…
“Have you locked the door?

Do not press the Eco button! Aqua is the best.
The machine is easy to operate if you
Don’t attempt to moderate
My clear rules. Understand?
And have you locked the door?

Someone’s moved the patio table!
Took me months from acquisition to find it’s most stable position,
And what are those blue flowers, dancing, cluttering my sight?
Another hallucination?
Please …. no more hospitalisation…”

It’s okay Dad. I’ve locked the door.

Sam, Help Me!  

Why aren’t you here?
I thought you’d hold my hand,
Be beside me in this foreign land
Of tubes, masks and bleeping sounds.
Sam, Help me.

Sam, Help me!
You said you’d be here
When I needed you most but
Instead you’re just a ghost
Of caring. Nothing to boast.
Sam, Help me.

Sam, Help me!
I’m waiting for you to come.
Night time and I’m on the floor
Cold and miserable to my core
Confused, abandoned, my heart sore…
Sam, Help me.

Mum, Forgive me.
Protocols forbid me being close.
I want to hold you – hand and heart,
Bridge the pain of being apart.
Me, Mum. That ‘stupid little tart’.

Forgive me.


Despite working as a Therapist, nothing prepared Sam for the trauma of both her parents dying during the recent Covid19 lockdown. Passionate about the power of poetry, she wrote to ‘earth her heart’ as she nursed …and lost them. You can follow Sam on twitter @fictionprescr1 (FictionPrescription)


  1. Very poignant

  2. Thankyou Trish x

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