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Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Forty-Second Week

When they hear you say
that you
are sick and tired
they will ask
if you mean it
literally or figuratively
to which you are free to reply
with a simple: yes.

*

In the present moment
get it now
and pay for it later
is both
an appeal to holiday shoppers
and the dominant attitude
towards the virus.

*

Seeing as I was already shopping
dutifully buying gifts for others
I figured I might as well
get something for myself
I considered a book I wanted
and scrolled through new sweaters
but in the end settled
on just buying myself
another pack of masks.

*

A note of clarification:
that your symptoms
have been relatively few
and that your case
has been fairly mild
does not mean
that those you pass the virus to
will have the same experience.

*

Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between November 26, 2022 and December 2, 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.

*

Every morning for two years
I received a text message
from my employer
at seven a.m.
politely requesting that I
attest I was feeling fine
and had not been exposed
I found it mildly annoying then
but now I fondly recall
those days
before we decided
to just ignore the pandemic.

*

My office mate
has returned from the holiday
with several amusing stories.

My office’s administrator
has returned from the holiday
with turkey for sandwiches.

And my supervisor
has returned from the holiday
with a rather intense cough
which she swears
is nothing serious.

*

You are familiar
with tales of fantastical lands:
realms inhabited by elves
over which dragons fly,
strange utopian societies
where the skies rain cheese,
you know those bizarre places
do not exist, but in this world
there actually are real places
where people still wear masks.

*

Have sympathy
for the foolish protagonists
in horror films
how easy it is to sigh and groan
as they step into danger
when the threat is obvious
and it would be so easy
to change course
have sympathy for them
they live amidst fictional hazards
we, alas, have no such excuse.

*

A watched pot
never boils.
An unwatched plague
never ends.

*

Listen, it’s simple,
businesses simply cannot afford
to provide their employees
with paid sick leave
for if they were to do so
when those employees fall ill
they might not show up to work.

*

According to the data
deaths from this plague
skew older
so when historians look back
at our civilization
they will not accuse us
of practicing child sacrifice
but of practicing elder sacrifice.

*

For a meal at a restaurant
a cocktail at the bar
and the illusion of normalcy
hundreds of daily deaths
are an acceptable trade off
at least to those
who are confident that they
will never counted amongst
those hundreds.

*

It is simply impossible to believe
that this virus
has been with us
for three years
not because it is difficult
to believe it has lasted
for so long
but because we have aged
so much more
than just three years
since the virus’s appearance.

*

Everything
looks fine
once you
stop looking.

*

There are days
where I worry
that everything
is falling apart
and then
there are days
where I worry
that everything
has already fallen apart
but that we
are only just now
realizing it.

*

We
have not learned
from history
but perhaps someday
when all of us
are but dust and memories
our distant descendants
will learn
from our refusal to learn.

*

A rejected idea
for a holiday movie:
a career-driven woman
goes home for Christmas
but contracts the virus
in her unmasked travels
she spends the holiday feverish
infecting her family
and when she goes to the hospital
the medical professionals
are too tired and angry to flirt.

*

One year
for a human
is the equivalent
of seven years
for the dog
living with them.

One year
for a virus
is the equivalent
of seven years
for the humans
living through it.

*

I am old enough
to remember
when thousands
of weekly plague deaths
was still considered
newsworthy.

*

You need not worry
about the plague
striking us
when we least expect it
for our problem at present
is not that the plague
catches us by surprise
but that we expect it
and yet still
refuse to prepare.

*

*

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-Forty-Second Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Forty-First Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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