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Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Thirty-Seventh Week

I have heard it said
that the pandemic’s end
is in sight
but I have stood
atop a tall building
and so I know
that which is in sight
can still be very far away.

*

Having
washed their hands
of responsibility
they now encourage us
to wash the plague
off our hands.

*

I know that all of us
gathered in this room
genuinely wish to create
a better world
the theorists we cite
the arguments we make
are not just idle chatter
my friends, I do not doubt
that we want to build
a better world
but right now in this one
I wish the rest of you
were masked.

*

When the news is too much
I clean the bathroom:
rid the shower of soap scum
scrub the toilet bowl
wipe down every surface
tidy the medicine cabinet
and then light a fragrant candle.

So if you are wondering
how I am doing of late
just know
that my bathroom is very clean.

*

Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between October 22, 2022 and October 28, 2022.

They were initially posted online on Twitter at @plaguepoems, on Mastodon at @plaguepoems@mastodon.social, and on Instagram at @plague_poems.

Throughout the duration of this crisis new poems will be posted regularly at the above mentioned accounts, they will then be collected and reposted here as weekly compendiums.

*

We must be willing
to talk
about the loss
caused by the pandemic
loss of learning
loss of profit
loss of opportunity
yes, we must be willing
to talk
about the loss
caused by the pandemic
provided that is
that we do not talk about
the loss of life.

*

While I admit
this finding has not
undergone rigorous peer review
in a prestigious scientific journal
but based on my studies
throughout this pandemic
I have concluded
that it has made many of us
crueler.

*

Even now
I have not given in
to despair
but I will not lie to you
most days I git it
half an hour or so.

*

Sympathetically check
the expiration dates
on the canned goods you purchased
back when you were planning
on staying at home
to help flatten the curve
some of those cans
have aged quite considerably
since the pandemic’s start
but then again
so have you.

*

And though I know
that October
is the month of ghosts
skeletons and ghosts
I cannot help but fear
that November
will be a true horror show.

*

They say
that the virus is evolving
and therefore so must we
which makes this
a fitting moment
to remind you
that mutual aid
is also a factor in evolution.

*

If you cannot bring yourself
to wish them well
just say
that you hope they will
not infect anyone else.

*

While we cannot
personal responsibility
our way
out of the pandemic
we can certainly
personal irresponsiblity
our way
deeper into the pandemic.

*

And though the era
of we have the tools
left much to be desired
how fondly we shall recall it
as we enter the era
of we had the tools.

*

Washing your hands
may not be the best protection
against an airborne virus
but I have just watched a man
cough and cough and cough
into his right hand
and I must confess
I hope he goes and washes it.

*

Go easy on yourself
so what you’re struggling
to remember the differences
between these new variants
and overwhelmed by trying
to make sense of the tridemic
give yourself some credit
you’re trying
which is more than can be said
about most people these days.

*

And now
our losses
have truly become
incalculable
for we have stopped trying
to calculate them.

*

At least by now
you have had plenty of practice
watching quietly
as the things you once relied on
steadily collapse.

*

If you are correct
and I must choose between
catching it sooner
and catching it later
I will keep picking
the latter
at least until
a third option
becomes available.

*

I freely admit
that I am not a doctor,
epidemiologist, nurse,
or other medical professional
but it seems to me
that if we truly want
to defeat the virus
perhaps we should try
to stop spreading it.

*

Seeing as you asked:
this weekend
I will be reading
the writing on the wall.

*

I recognize
that it is rather vague
to state
that I have a bad feeling
that I have a very bad feeling
about this
for that “this” could refer
to so very many things
and it does
and it really does.

*

Should you find yourself
wondering why it is
that it is so difficult
in this moment
to have hope
try to remember
that you are currently
in the third year
of a pandemic.

*

*

Plague Poems…the following week

Plague Poems…the first week

Plague Poems…the full list

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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-Thirty-Seventh Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Thirty-Sixth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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