By Jessica Tsun Lem Hui
Hope of a vaccine
Brings conflicting emotions
The gnawing pains of grief
Anger at the diligence of science
and at Time, whose last strike waits not for cure
As little people lay silently at home
of brick and glass
and of cold willow
The tardiness of prevention
is a cruelty for some
Who sit by sealed doors
to welcome no-one
But, to think
an end is in sight
For others, so they may once again be brought
to hold and forgive each other
when sunlight falls
in warm and lively embrace
Jessica Hui is a Scottish musicologist. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. ‘Cure’ is her first piece of poetry.
I wrote this poem to immortalise some of the strange feelings that came and went after my father had passed away from Covid-19. He had been in intensive care, attempting to fight off the virus for almost a month. I will never know what it was like for him, but for us, it was the longest, most uncertain month we’ve ever endured. Since his passing, there have been waves of conflicting emotion. Only a week after the funeral, the UK government announced that it would be the first country to roll out Covid-19 vaccines. He’d been so close. A cure reverses a state of sickness and pain, but there was nothing that could give us back what we had lost.
We in the UK have lost 60,000+ lives to this disease. I realise I’m not alone. There are so many people left behind who are feeling this same pain, and there are many who are in more dire circumstances. The last lines of the poem relate to a softening I’ve felt recently: that an end is hopefully in sight for us all, so we can be with our loved ones once more and begin to heal from the trauma of this difficult year, this time, together.
I hope, therefore, that this poem can resonate with anyone who has experienced frustration and loss during this pandemic. We are all in need of a little hope.