Gratitude in the time of the Coronavirus

Gratitude in the time of the Coronavirus

This journey just started
Its destination unknown
Time to destination unknown.
Already I feel frustrated and cross
Not wanting, not accepting this change
That seems to have come so suddenly.

At the supermarket
I grab what I can 
Not what I want
Just some of what I need.
Already I’m tired of the queue
Suspicious of other people 
Are they infectious?Is it safe?

Rushed, I come to the self-checkout
Scanning, scanning
For a moment I pause
Tired of all this.

I remember
My mother’s story 
Living in London
Throughout the Blitz
My father almost fatally wounded 
In North Africa.

I remember my mother 
Now long dead
Her Italian face luminous
In my memory
My father who fought
The Italians in the war
And I am their son.

The self-checkout prompts me
“Do you want to continue?”
Silently, I answer ‘Yes’.

─ Brian Tasker, 20/3/20

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