Pandemic Poems - APRIL 2020
Bio Note: I am a Vermont poet of an age to be a target. Knowing what at-risk means I hunker, studying the alternation of snow and sunshine, snowdrops in bloom, and the slow golding of the male goldfinches at the feeder.
In corona-hours, everything may be afraid of something and some things may wish it were not so. Spring’s wind swings the clumps of dog hair I hung up for the birds as possible nest linings. The chickadees scatter. A goldfinch bounces off the glass of my sunroom window. You’d never say the moon is afraid of the sun, maybe just dependent for shine. Today, at first light the moon stands up in a dawn-blue sky, defiant; for that hour present. Another gust of wind swirls the tops of the silver pines and blows the downed hickory leaves across the yard like juncos searching for stray seed. My fear suggests I am at-one with all of it: I am flung seed, fur clinging on a black wrought-iron fence, and the moon alive only for a few moments in its morning. Coloring the paper print out of the amabie * Amabie (アマビエ) is a legendary Japanese mermaid or merman with 3 legs, who allegedly emerges from the sea and prophesies either an abundant harvest or an epidemic.
The man who shoved the bats in cages for the marketplace? The populations surge that crowded out bat habitat? Those who eat bat, or pigs or birds? The Wrights’ airplanes? A government that kept silent or the one that lied? When we sing from balconies, watch chickadees at the feeder, send out notes to offer help, offer the last mask to the man next door, that fear that nests in our chests may release a song to the empty street. One earth seethes, breathes winds from all directions. This we praise. We are one. What we have done to the earth carelessly in competition, we see we can do to each other. This we lament. What we may do to save the earth, we can do for each other. One. This we must applaud if we mean to have a future.
You endure it as sands of allotment, gritty and abrasive. You know how much you must allow like coins stolen from the cookie jar. Allege is for schemers. Allure for anyone who looks better in a mask. Alumni at your age makes you realize how many friends have died. The alarm sounded shrill, alternately far away and then aligned with your heart.
©2020 Tricia Knoll
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