Pandemic Poems - APRIL 2020
Bio Note: I live in Montclair, NJ and work as a fundraiser for public television. My poems have appeared in a number of online and print journals including The Cortland Review, The Journal of New Jersey Poets and The Paterson Literary Review. My chapbook Sleepwalking Home was published in 2017 by Dancing Girl Press.
Canzone della Verbena: While Siena Sleeps
Coronavirus claims over 10,000 lives in Italy
with 98,000 cases at the end of March, 2020.
After an improvised aperitivo of salami and wine— there was no good bread, the people of Siena in quarantine who were not feeling sick leaned over their balconies near the empty Piazza del Campo and sang. Their song, once meant to honor Italy’s national flower—the lily— was now one of community. I wasn’t at Selma in the sixties, yet I think about blacks and whites who marched together and sang, of American slaves working in fields who sang. I think about the lyrics to “We Shall Overcome.” Some of my Jewish family labored at Dachau and Bergen-Belsen. They carted sand to make bricks. Did they sing, too, sotto voce? I pray they paused to sip the sweet spring air.
©2020 Jennifer Poteet
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