"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Fifty-Eighth Week

Whenever I hear it said
that the time has come
to take off our masks
(at least when out of doors)
I prepare myself
for the plague to continue
even longer.


Our impatience
in the spring
will cost us
the summer.


I have forgotten
how it feels
to be in a room filled
with strangers.

Yes, and
I have also forgotten
how it feels
to be in a room filled
with friends.


is my hope
that you found moments
over the weekened
to restore yourself
no one can endure eternally
not even you.

There is no shame
in need to (briefly)
close your eyes or
stop up your ears
but know that
over the weekend
the plague claimed
its three millionth victim.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between April 17, 2021 and April 23, 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.


I know
that you are tired
as am I
as are all of us
we have been pulling
on the oars of this lifeboat
for so long
but the shore remains distant
and we must still watch
for icebergs
as we navigate through
these shark infested waters.


cannot truly be escaped
either the responsible parties
face them
or they rain down like stones
upon the rest of us.


From my youth
I recall an advertisement
in which an octogenarian
having collapsed to the floor
helplessly cried:

“I have fallen
I can’t get up.”

In the plague times
we are all
that unfortunate elder.


In the dark times
will there also be moments
of light?
Yes, there will also be moments
of light.
But such brief illumination
does not mark the end
of the dark times.


And the next morning
we awoke
to find ourselves
exactly where we had been
the night before.


Do not direct your frustration
at those who continue
to dutifully wear their masks
after all you are still surrounded
by many who refused
to wear them in the first place.


It is difficult
to remember that
are all in this together
when you never leave
your apartment.


Though it grows
increasingly difficult
to differentiate
today from yesterday
yesterday from the day before
this week from last week
and this month
from the plague months
that preceded it
I remind myself that today
for a brief moment
birds sang outside my window.


It is not that
I am living
in fear
but that
I am living
in a pandemic.


The plague
has not vanished
from the newspapers
it has simply been moved
to a section
that few people read.


When the Black Death
stalked through the streets
in centuries long past
the people called out
to the heavens
for salvation
scoff if you must at their please
but at least they
had the sense
not to deny
that they were living
through a plague.


When you were young
wise old Aesop
tried to warn you
about this moment
wherein the plague
is the steady tortoise
and we
are the overconfident hare.


We romanticize
the before
and we fantasize
about the after
to protect ourselves
from acknowledging
that we remain mired
in the during.


We were always told
that these sorts of things
do not happen here
they happen over there
but no over here
thus we are not shocked
to see it happening
over there
even as we continue ignoring
that it is still happening
over here.


These days
we devote little time
(not even a moment)
to maintaining a vigil
for those who have died
accustomed to misfortune
we know we will hear
when the death toll reaches

We have not reached that point
know that by this week’s end
570,000 will have died here.


Where calendars fail
to adequately track
the passage of days
some keep time
by drawing lines on paper
by carving marks in a wall
line after line after line
until the surface is covered
thusly do I measure the duration
of the plague times
by the lines that have appeared
on my face.



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

3 comments on “Plague Poems – The Fifty-Eighth Week

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

  2. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Fifty-Ninth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  3. Pingback: Wearing A Mask For Covid-19 Protection Is Scientific And Perfectly Normal – RSS feed

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