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Oblongs and Circles

A prayer: for those like me who are struggling with the lack of physical contact with friends and family during the COVID pandemic

COVID puts life into boxes –
Family, squeezed into the phone,
Contact separated by oblong screens;
My niece’s wedding, achingly distant
Bride and groom in a box.
Friends’ faces reduced to oblongs,
Zoomed, Skyped, 
And yet, untouchable.
A moving patchwork… of yet more boxes.
Am I inside looking out, 
or outside, looking in?

Oh how I yearn for circles:
A group hug, with the littlest in the middle;
Family round the dining table,
…a picnic blanket,
…the Christmas tree?
Homegroup comfy on settees, 
no longer squinting, 
not watching myself.

Lord, help me to see the boxes
Not as resented oblongs,
But as presents, 
Boxed up 
For me –
Gift-wrapped in technology…
From you.
Bringing loved ones closer,
A virtual embrace 
Sent to carry me through this time,
And labelled
‘From a loving Father’.


Written by Jenny who reads the Beacon of Hope from her home in England.

© Jenny Heathcote, 2020

Jenny’s poem inspired another Beacon of Hope reader to create a background for the words.

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