"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Fifty-Fifth Week

Forgive me
I do not mean
to ruin your week
when it has only just
but you should know
that the case number
(yet again)
are rising.


After more than a year
unhappily stuck
how easy it is
to empathize with the plight
of a ship
unhappily stuck
in a canal.


The plague
has tried to teach us
that it is unwise
to relax restrictions
to rush reopening
merely because the plague
appears to be waning.

As there are too many
stubborn students among us
who refuse to learn
in a few months
we shall have the opportunity
to fail this test


That you
are part of a we
who have undermined
your sacrifices
does not mean that the privation
you have endured
was pointless.

Take what solace you can
in knowing
that without your patience
through these ordeals
would be even worse.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between March 27, 2021 and April 2, 2021.

They were initially posted online on Twitter at @plaguepoems and Instagram at @plague_poems.

Throughout the duration of this crisis new poems will be posted regularly at that Twitter account, they will then be collected and reposted here in weekly increments.


Years from now
while cleaning out your sock drawer
you will come across
the cloth masks
you had purchased
and which you saved
just in case
and in that moment
you shall be reminded
of just how long
you spent telling yourself
that you would only need
to wear a mask
a little longer.


That you
have not fallen victim
to the strange ideas
that spread so rapidly
all around you
does not mean that you are
from the real world impacts
of those bizarre beliefs.


Take the bathing suit
out of your shopping cart
and put the package
of disposable masks
(the one you so happily
returned to the shelf)
back in.

There will be ample time
to plan for the best
when such confidence
is warranted.


They who have grown
to daily deaths
can still be disturbed
when the mounting figures
lurch past
another hundred thousand.

For they who have grown
today’s toll will result in
no moment of silence
though as of today
we are more than half way
to the next
hundred thousand.


A year ago
I refused to believe
that this ordeal
would still be ongoing
a full twelve months later.

though I do not want
to imagine it will be so
the idea
that this ordeal
will still be ongoing
a full twelve months from now
does not seem
so unbelievable.


You must avoid
the temptation to say
that we are right back
where we started
time is linear
no matter how much
it may feel circular
no, we are not right back
where we started
back then we could be excused
for feeling optimistic.


Though I admit
I do not miss the days
when the only thing we spoke of
was the plague
I do miss the days
when it was possible
to speak about the plague
without being derided
as a doomsayer.


I shall emerge from
this plague induced haze
and do more
than blankly stare
at my computer’s screen.

At least this is what
I tell myself
at the end of every day.


If you could bring yourself
to read beyond
the date on today’s newspaper
you would know
that there is nothing
to laugh about.


Though I admit I have
the gestures and phrases
of the world that was
I do not fear
a return to normal
for I am too preoccupied
with fright
at how normal
the plague now seems.


If we could only laugh
in moments when
we are safe from danger
than we would have no need
for laughter.


If we only acted
like fools
for a single day each year
than this plague
would have ended
long ago.


Be careful my friend
you must not confuse
the vaccine you have received
with the end
of the plague times
you may be protected
against infection
but the virus (itself)
is not the only danger
during these plague times.


We grow frustrated from hearing
the same warnings
over and over
but remember
if those warnings had been heard
the first time
it would not be necessary
for them to still be repeated.

Do not direct your frustration
at the warnings
but at those who make
this repetition necessary.


Though I am tired
due to anxiously laying awake
all night.

Though I am spent
from trudging through minor tasks
all week.

Though I am fatigued
by reading the worrisome headlines
all day.

The only thing which
truly exhausts me
is telling the one I love
that I am fine.


The stubborn student
may eventually make up
for the assignments
they failed
earlier in the semester
after all it is possible
to pass the class
with a grade lower than an A
but later improvements
do not erase previous errors
and the final grades
have not yet been submitted.



Plague Poems…the next week

Plague Poems…the previous week

Plague Poems…the first week

Plague Poems…the full list

About Z.M.L

“I do not believe that things will turn out well, but the idea that they might is of decisive importance.” – Max Horkheimer @libshipwreck

2 comments on “Plague Poems – The Fifty-Fifth Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Fifty-Fourth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  2. Pingback: Plague Poems – the Fifty Sixth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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