The Locked-down Citizenry at a Pandemic

The passage of the hours is regular and slow.
We do the same things slightly differently each day,
but now we note the differences within the same.
Restless impatient children, we anticipate
the circuit of the park allowed for exercise;
a shopping trip for food becomes a kind of treat.
Indoors, each family, each person finds a way
to occupy this unexpected interlude:
read, write, reach out to others, play our favourite game,
switch on the news, clink glasses as we watch and eat,
suspicious of most politicians’ soothing lies,
admiring those who trust us with the truth they know.
Closer than most of us have come to megadeath,
our fiercest common feeling is of gratitude
to that till now unlauded ministering band
of brothers, sisters, heroes of the wounded state,
who stand to help the helpless fighting for each breath
and, when they’re dying, sit with them and hold their hand.