"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – the Sixty-First Week

It is difficult to write
when your hands
will not stop shaking.


It is better to ache
from your second shot
than to shudder
from contracting the virus.


At moments your body
aching and overwhelmed
will force you to halt
to rest
but that does not mean
you will find the pause


At times I fear
that the person I will e
when this finally ends
will be much the same as
the person I was
when this first begin
for I remain the same
only hollow.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between May 8, 2021 and May 14, 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.


The expectation
that the end is close
makes the present wait
especially unbearable.


If you find yourself needing
to convince a friend
that they must still take
the necessary steps
tell them
that they do not want to be
this plague’s final victim.

Though it is doubtful
that this warning
will alter their behavior
you might as well try.


All of this
and still
the plague.


There is a quiet shame
in having
a functional air-conditioner
a pair of thick asbestos socks
and a flame-retardant armchair
from which to watch
as the world goes to hell.


A Utopia
is a place in which
you can read the news
without screaming.


We long for the day
when we will finally be able
to leave our masks at home
for when that day comes
it will make it much easier
to pretend that this
never happened to us.


Of course
I cannot speak for you
or for those
you surround yourself with
(perhaps you associate solely
with a wiser sort than I)
but I will be truthful:
I know distressingly many
whose actions
whose inactions
prolong this pandemic
and though I have tried
I cannot reach them.


To learn from history
the first thing required is not
a sagacious teacher or
a voluminous library or
a quiet study space.

that which is needed first
is the willingness to learn,
and that is why
year after year
decade after decade
so very few
learn anything from history.


You must now allow
the ongoing deluge
of tragedy upon tragedy
to bludgeon you into believing
that this is the way
the world must be.


Like a series that has lasted
for far too many volumes
penned by an author
who does not know how
to bring the tale to its end
so too has the plague
lost many of its early readers
even as its story continues
being written.


Perhaps I am simply unimaginative
but I can think of no better way
to let you (oh wary stranger) know
that I have been vaccinated
than for me to keep
this mask over my face.


Please, I beg you,
do not take it personally
if you see me wearing a mask
for it is not that I distrust you,
you the specific individual,
but that I distrust
the collective you
of which you are a member.


It is not
that I do not trust
what the scientists say
but that I have conducted
a lengthy experiment
and its results have sadly proven
the initial hypothesis:
distrust your maskless neighbors.


We say that things
are complicated
so that we can ignore
the simple truths
weeping before us.


If only
we had learned to accept
wearing masks
as easily
as we have learned to accept
mass death.


That you can still
feel despair
means that you can still



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

One comment on “Plague Poems – the Sixty-First Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Sixty-Second Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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This entry was posted on May 21, 2021 by in Plague Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

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