Only In 2020 Part 1: Our Year So Far

from Today's Calls: Pandemic Pieces on BBC Radio Devon by Kimwei

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You have to wear a mask these days
to get inside the shop
in order to buy a mask in the first place:
only in twenty-twenty

and only in twenty-twenty
(even though often there was plenty)
did we panic at the Tesco
as we rushed to buy the loo roll
until someone got stampeded
for taking the last one!
(although we knew he didn’t need it)

Then we watched the news with baited breath
(corona upon corona)
wondering how our world would change
and what might slow the deaths?

We stayed at home day after day.
Key workers overworked;
it took us till twenty-twenty
to realise what they’re worth,

and every single Thursday
we banged our pots and pans
out of windows to say thank you -
rainbows streaming from our hands.

We stayed at home to work and play
and recreate great paintings;
masterpieces we made manifest
from any toilet roll remaining.

With no more hugs to have with friends
we zoomed around the world.
The grieving could not reach for touch:
They needed to be held.

Now everyone has lost someone
or knows someone whose lost someone
and we have lost too many
for us to count in twenty-twenty.

So we all must make a difference:
twenty-twenty taught us that.
You could make a million masks
from socks, t-shirts, bits of tat

One boy camped out in his garden
raising money for a cause:
Hospicare - two grand. To be fair,
he too deserves applause.

and we all stayed home together
with our twenty-twenty vision
but for those desperate for an eye-test
Barnard Castle’s an exception,

and only in twenty-twenty
did we make banana bread
and then suddenly start campaigning
for equality instead.

Because black lives matter,
we can do more.
Because black lives matter
we will do more.

So 100 years from now
Looking back on twenty-twenty
will this be the year we learned to love
and live a lot more gently?

If a virus travelled around the world
We must all be connected -
Transmitted through our touch, our breath:
We’re linked more than expected,

and we were not equipped to stop
to pause or to be still,
to grieve, to lose, to cheer, to fear
or risk becoming ill.

We thought we were invincible
‘til covid took so many
and nothing’s been the same again
ever since twenty-twenty.

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