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Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Twenty-Fifth Week

When you hear them say
(and you will hear them say)
that we have the tools we need
make sure to ask them
which public health emergency
they are referring to.

*

And as the alarms went off
we found ourselves
fiercely arguing
about the volume of the alarms.

*

Had I known
just how long
I would need to stay inside for
I would have taken
the pittance they sent me
and used it
to buy a more comfortable couch.

*

What differentiates
the pox from the plague
is that when the plague arrived
it was still possible to believe
that you lived somewhere
capable of handling a pandemic.

*

Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between July 30, 2022 and August 5, 2022.

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.

*

It would be unprofessional
for me to begin my message
by telling you
that I know you’re exhausted
or that I’m also overwhelmed
or that I’m sorry to bother you
with such silly questions
given the state of the world
so instead, I will just begin by saying
I hope you are doing well.

*

Stop being so negative
of course something will be done
the threat is very serious
it cannot be ignored
your frustration with your leaders
is certainly warranted
but give them some more credit
they care
you know that they will do
whatever it takes
to protect the economy.

*

It is only a matter of time
before the stop asking
“who hasn’t
caught the virus?”
and instead begin asking
“who has
only caught the virus once?”

*

We all have
self-destructive tendencies
what we know we should avoid
but indulge in nevertheless
too much of this
not enough care with that
though the worst of these
is not excessive drink or food or sex
but to believe that everything
will be okay in the end.

*

I know you are confident
that you need not worry
about this infectious threat
for the danger it poses
is to demographics
to which you do not belong
but I recall you saying
the same thing
about the other infectious threat
and that does not seem
to have worked out so well for you.

*

When despair overwhelms you
rather than wallow
go instead to the faucet
and pour yourself a glass of water
drink it slowly
focusing your full attention
on the sensation of the water
moving through your body
this will not free you
from your despair
but at least you’ll be hydrated.

*

It is difficult to believe
that we are wiser
than we were at the start
of the last public health emergency
though it is quite clear
by our gray hair and lined faces
that we are all of us
significantly older.

*

Keep your concerns to yourself
no one wants to hear them
your constant fretting
just makes your friends worry
about you
and that only counts the friends
you haven’t already lost
consider that perhaps
it isn’t really as bad as you think
and even if it is
just keep it to yourself.

*

You who are eager to forget
that this plague
ever happened
should now take extra care
if you want some day to forget
the pox as well
for unlike the plague
the scars the pox leaves behind
are visible.

*

Being trapped aboard
this slowly sinking ship
was easier
back before so many
of our fellow passengers
decided they could learn to live
with always being knee deep
in freezing water.

*

Do not despair
haven’t you heard?
We have all the tools we need!
But please check
with your insurance provider
local pharmacy and employer
to find out whether or not
you qualify as part
of that we.

*

In school we are taught
that the evolution of a species
is all about the survival
of the fittest
how different our world might look
if in school we were taught
that mutual aid
is a factor in evolution as well.

*

I recognize I cannot stop you
from the suicidal choices
you are making
though I wish you were not
so eager
to take me down with you.

*

We are careful
and yet
we forget to floss for days
and then wonder
why we have cavities
we don’t bother with sunscreen
and are perplexed
by our bright red burns
we let our masks fall down
and are confounded
by positive test results
we are careful
but less careful than we think.

*

That you have no choice
but to live
with the plague
does not mean
that this is a condition
you freely chose.

*

Baking
made your apartment too hot
the clarinet
just scared your dog
screen-writing
was too much screen-staring
and we shall not speak
of the stationary-bike
but do not worry
if you have not yet found
a quarantine hobby
you still have
plenty of pandemic left
in which to find one.

*

*

Plague Poems…the following 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 librarianshipwreck.wordpress.com @libshipwreck

One comment on “Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Twenty-Fifth Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Twenty-Fourth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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