Pandemic Poems - APRIL 2020
Bio Note: In retirement, I live in a log home on a lake near Birmingham, Alabama. Very different here from Buffalo, NY where I was a teacher and professor for 40 years. A very active poetry group meets monthly in my small town, and I have benefited from being with that group. Some of my poems wander back to my Appalachian youth while many others poke at current events and issues. My poems have been published in a range of journals, two anthologies, a chapbook and a forthcoming full book later this year.
America, your turn to enter the fray! Beach-goers frolic in Florida even as, Corona virus closes schools and churches. Distancing and disinfecting are everyday parlance. Emergency (as in “state of…”), even national! Flattening the curve by staying home; Global news foresees our future. Homeland security and hand sanitizer Inflict daily reminders, though some Just blame China or Italy or the homeless. Knowledge of the virus seems slim, elusive; Life-saving treatments may not be there Medical history is important; masks may help. NBA is canceled; sports not happening Over-reacting, some complain, though they stockpile supplies. Pandemic now, our COVID 19. No public health system in Queer-resistant, capitalistic USA. Recession looming experts say Stuck at home, nowhere to roam, we chafe. Throat sore for several days…bad sign; U.S. Customs and Border Patrol enforcing travel ban. Ventilators in short supply, vaccine may be a year away- Wuhan re-infecting. Thank God for WHO. Xmas will come for most of us, but perhaps not for you. Yield to caution and wear your mask like Zorro on a mission!
Pandemic: March 26, 2020
Today, despite the tsunami of virus news, I drive down our street of dogwoods blossoming into our town sprayed with scarlet azaleas, weeping wisteria and gold leaving trees. Nature is intent on being reborn as I contemplate dying. When the universe collapses, not from a meteor, but a tiny dimpled ball studded with golf tees that blossom red rosette triangles to invade our lungs paralyzing segments into stone…we are there. Visitors today, people I love. We sit on the porch far apart, a bottle of sanitizer between us, a reminder of our fragile age. A birth day for one (but we wonder, a death day hastening?). The hunger to be together propels us to these moments of joy. The news is dreadful. From Europe, from Asia, now US. Not flattening, the curve (more predictive than Tiresias). Recession spiraling into Depression tornadoes over the charts and figures. A negligence, a punishment, a comeuppance? Does the earth conspire to defeat us? Can the microbe, like the serpent, expunge us from Eden?
©2020 Jeanette Willert
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell her or him. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL