The Time Is Now. A poem by Maria Byrne

One day busy, happy, sad, out working, crazy, fun, coffee dates, dinner out, theatre, concerts, romantic dates, public displays of affection
Then the whole world full stopped, while it kept spinning
Pause, hold the breath
What next
All change
Go home, work there
School there
Lockdown, incarcerated for no crime
No appeal, all on lockdown
Do as you are told say the three wise men
Language of oppression
No dissenting voices, only silent sheep
No hugs
Glass partitions to keep grandparents and grandchildren apart
Lest to be taken down by an invisible physical force
What of the force of a broken heart, despair of loneliness
That kills thousands
Social distancing, an oxymoron
Assume you have the disease, everyone else does too
Walk away from each other
Smile at the infected, smile at yourself
Wear the mask
Not the covering one
Wear the covering one
Wash your hands until the skin breaks
Sing the Happy Birthday song, 20 seconds
No Happy Birthdays, no gatherings or celebrations
To save some lives, while hundreds of thousands of others fall apart and are destroyed
Not to save the lives of the elders in institutions
We broke the ones we left at home, alone
If we die 9 people can send us off
Why 9
Do not hug the bereaved or shake their hand
Hug only if in the same household, the dog counts
Hug a tree, everyone pick a different one
While the experts differ, we trust them like sheep
All before is a memory, the restaurants, theatres, cinemas, shows, gigs, pubs
The craic
Travel to far off places
All gone
There is only hope now
Perhaps a new awakening, better times ahead
Mother Earth rejoices, she is healing
Freedom for the birds, the insects, the suburban wild creatures
Does she feel the pain of the human animals
Even birdsong grates at times
Only hope


Maria is from Dublin, Ireland. First time writer.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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