"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Sixty-Sixth Week

Stop being foolish
things cannot go back
to how they once were
for you cannot now go back
to confidently believing
that your society
is impervious to a pandemic.


The virus
will keep changing
until we are willing
to change enough
to stop it.


The impatience
of a few
creates patients
among the many.


That you need not worry
about contracting
the latest variant
does not mean
that you need not worry
about the latest variant.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between June 12, 2021 and June 18, 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.


If only
they were as angry
about that history
as they are
about that history
being acknowledged.


Though we had
grown accustomed
to thousands of daily deaths
tens of thousands of weekly deaths
we would still stop
for each milestone
of a hundred thousand
until that is
six hundred thousand deaths
by which point we had
finally grown accustomed
to hundreds of thousands of deaths.


Though our eyes
had adjusted to the gloom
the momentary flicker
has ruined our dark vision
so now we stumble forward
oblivious to the hazards
that surround us.


I am here
just here
exactly where I have been
for weeks
for months
how fortunate I am
to still be here
exactly where I have been
after all these weeks
after all these months.


Politicians and journalists
will spend years debating
just how many lives
the plague claimed
and how many had been claimed
by exactly what date
though they will vehemently argue
for different totals
you must recognize
that even the smaller estimates
are horrific.


Those who
would deny history
are the same as
those who
are denying the events
of the last eighteen months.


Do not be absurd
it is not the case
that we were so afraid
of the virus
that we forgot how to live
but that we had to learn
how to live
during the plague times.


It was a bright
late spring afternoon
the birds tittered in the branches
neighbors chatted on their porches
background music was provided
by an ice cream truck
driving round in circles
and here, in this exceptional land
the plague
had claimed
more than six hundred thousand lives.


We remember
the influenza pandemic
of 1918
as a historic tragedy
for it claimed
more than 675,000 lives
here, in this exceptional land.

As the current pandemic
trudges closer
to reaching
to passing
that ghastly historic figure
here, in this exceptional land
we try to forget.


A year ago
when the weary voices
of the coming fall
we ignored them
and now
when the same weary voices
of the coming fall
we ignore them again.


Outrage about bogeymen
serves as an excellent distraction
from the fresh graves.


May these words
be a rock in your shoe
an unwelcome presence
that digs into your heel
that scratches at your toes
that warps your step
and which reminds you
that something is wrong.


The sign in the shop window
instructs customers
that the vaccinated
may enter maskless
while the unvaccinated
must still be masked
the employees will have trouble
knowing if entrants
are behaving honestly
but the plague
will have no such difficulty.


Our daily squabbles
over the scraps
are training us
for our future lives
in the wasteland.


In the darkest days
of the plague times
I sat in isolation
longing desperately
for the company of others
aching to be liberated
from my necessary solitude
yet now that I am free
I find that which I want most
is to just be alone.


Life now feels
much the same as it was
though this new normal
is worse.



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 Sixty-Sixth Week

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

  2. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Sixty-Seventh Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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This entry was posted on June 25, 2021 by in Plague Poems and tagged , , , , , , , .

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