LibrarianShipwreck

"More than machinery, we need humanity."

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

Should you find yourself
wondering why it is
that some people
continue behaving
as though there is a pandemic
consider that it may be
because there is still a pandemic.

*

All it took
for them to care
about long covid
was for
its impact to be felt
by the economy.

*

It would be easy
to go back to how it was before
if only we could:
cure our neighbors
of their lingering maladies,
restore to life
the millions taken too soon,
and make the virus
disappear completely.

Yes, if we could do that,
we might be able to go back
to how it was before.

*

And when they say
“it just keeps getting worse”
it is necessary to pause
in order to figure out
which crisis
they are talking about.

*

Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between August 27, 2022 and September 2, 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.

*

My apologies
I know it has been months
since last you felt
even this cautiously optimistic
but it is precisely in the moments
when you feel hopeful
that you must remember
the pandemic has not ended.

*

Somehow it feels
much lonelier
being the only masked face
in this crowded room
that it ever felt
to be sitting at home
by myself
back when I knew
so many others
were doing the same.

*

At this point
the pandemic
is getting old
but in fairness
so are we.

*

The friend I need to call
writes that her friend’s girlfriend
has cardiovascular long covid
they have spent
the last two weekends
in the hospital,
while she has been at home
recovering from surgery,
from two hundred and fifty miles away
I do not know what to reply
so I just write: I’m so sorry.

*

When I could not sleep
I used to wonder
what might have been
had I studied harder in school
or told them how I felt
had I not agreed to move
or pursued what I wanted
had I this had I that
now when I cannot sleep
I just wonder
what might have been
had the pandemic never happened.

*

Yes, of course,
the pandemic has been terrible
so many deaths
so many affected
so many disruptions
so many at risk
yes, without a doubt,
the pandemic has been terrible
but what is even worse
is that you
won’t stop talking about it.

*

According
to a prominent scientist:
we need to prepare
for large increases
in cardiovascular
neurological and
mental health disorders
in countries affected
by the pandemic,
but here
in this affected country
future dangers are insufficient
to make us prepare
in the present.

*

Before we stop
paying attention
to what is happening
we first lose interest
in why it is happening.

*

As it turns out
living in the midst
of a mass death event
results in a drop
in test scores
right alongside the drop
in life expectancy.

*

Haven’t you heard?

We’ve come a long way.
COVID
no longer controls our lives,
there are a record number
of Americans
working, businesses are growing,
and schools are open.

We are getting
back to normal:
COVID
no longer controls our lives,
the pursuit of the dollar does.

*

The numbers
really don’t look so bad
once you’ve stopped
counting.

*

All of the tools
you could possibly need
are currently available
but if your supply of test kits
is low or non-existent
you had better request more
by tomorrow
after that point
though tests will still be
a tool we all need
they will become a tool
only some can afford.

*

When they tell you
(and they will tell you)
that if it were not for the plague
you would just find
something else
to worry about,
it is best not to respond
by telling them
that theirs is not a critique of you
but of this world
which contains so very much
worth worrying about.

*

Everything you need to know
about life in a pandemic
you can learn from horror movies:
people blithely walk into danger,
officials pretend everything is fine,
safety instructions are ignored,
the defeated monster gets back up,
and the franchise never ends.

*

It has been said
that the drop in life expectancy
cannot be blamed
on the pandemic alone
overdose, suicide,
liver and heart disease
these contribute to the decline,
the drop in life expectancy
cannot be blamed
on the pandemic alone
not that this
should make you feel any better.

*

Were a hurricane
earthquake or attack
to claim thousands of lives
in a single week
we would recoil in horror
politicians would demand action
reporters would fight back tears
we would do whatever we could
but when the pandemic
claims thousands of lives
it’s just another week.

*

*

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-Ninth Week

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

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