Hackney resident Charlie Cook. Photograph: courtesy Cook family

Still Lurking In The Dark
by Charlie Cook, Year 5 pupil from Hackney

The sudden changes of plans
Going out for dinner
All interrupted as rapid as a heartbeat
Covid came thundering down on our arrangements
Then in the click of a robotic finger, we were chatting online

Stockings hanging on our walls
Ruined with our over-used masks
Snowball fights were limited to an invisible border
Spaced five meters away from your house
Sometimes less

No restaurants were open
No blissful Christmas decorations
The only thing that would make us cheerful
Was if we didn’t catch the threatening virus
That was making a bubble around our relationships
Shattering the satisfaction they provided

But nothing lasts forever
The virus had to be beaten sometime and somehow
Sadly, the chaos hasn’t ended
This Christmas will be better
We all hope

Our homes will be lighted up with festivity
Our day will be as fun as it was when life was normal
Since Covid has been hurled out of the boxing ring
But still lurking in the dark
Waiting to infect another place
Another planet
Another universe
Conquered
Polluted

At least we’re safe for now
Maybe Covid will take a break
Just for this holy month
Maybe?

Coronavirus fighting for the poison team
NHS workers fighting for the human team
Fighting for lives
Not fighting for brutal death

We all think Christmas will be normal
But a new variant has been issued
And we don’t know what to expect
Settling its remnants on every endangered country it can
Christmas parks being assembled
Then being disappointedly taken down
The disturbing thing is
Our festive season may be trapped again
For now…
That’s all we can say…

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