LibrarianShipwreck

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Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Fifty-Sixth Week

We tell ourselves
that the current affliction
overwhelming all of us
is a cold
just a particularly brutal cold
and because that is all it is
we need not bother
with going to get tested
after all, that might reveal
that the current affliction
isn’t actually just a cold.

*

The CDC notes:
“Emerging evidence suggests
that SARS-CoV-2,
the virus that causes COVID-19,
can have lasting effects
on nearly every organ
and organ system of the body
weeks, months,
and potentially years
after infection”
which is not very poetic
but is very worrisome.

*

My coworker says that I
am addicted to the virus
and I am tempted
to respond by observing
that of the two of us
he is is the one
who has contracted the virus
five times
so if anything
he is the addicted one
but I am too old
for such schoolyard retorts
so instead I say nothing.

*

There are times
when you must fight
to keep hope alive
and there are times
when you must work
to keep yourself alive
and in these plague times
you must somehow
manage to do both.

*

Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between March 4, 2023 and March 10, 2023.

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.

*

Before you enter a shop
they now want you
to remove your mask
for they are more concerned
that you might steal
some small knickknack
than they are with the lives
the plague continues to steal.

*

After suffering
through the lengthy periods
of quite literal solitude
there is a peculiar loneliness
to realizing that you
are the only one
wearing a mask in the room.

*

The plague has won
and all of us now
are trying to survive
in the lands it occupies
and though it is no surprise
to see so few people
willing to join the resistance
it is quite disappointing
how many have chosen
to become collaborators.

*

There is a resolution to designate
March’s first Monday
as COVID-19 Victims Memorial Day
and though we must
commemorate
those the plague has taken
perhaps a better tribute
would be to act to prevent
the list of those
needing to be remembered
on that day
from growing further.

*

The trees are in bloom
and the air is filled with pollen
at exactly the right moment
to provide us all
with a much needed
fresh explanation
for why everyone we know
seems so horribly unwell.

*

An open message
to the rude stranger
who commented as we passed
that beneath my mask
I must have
a resting bitch face:
I am not wearing this
to hide how my face looks
while resting
I am wearing it
because I am not eager to wear
my resting eternally face.

*

Having long ago
stopped trying
to flatten the curve
we instead made peace
with bending the curve
little by little
until we found ourselves
going round in circles.

*

In my apartment
there is cheese
that was aged in a cave
there is beer
that was aged in bourbon barrels
there is wine
that was aged for a decade
and there is a tired soul
that was aged in a pandemic.

*

In a state of arrest
but not under arrest
you and I
are not being interrogated
yet our dilemma
relates to just how long
we shall be sentenced
to this pandemic
and while you may think
it will work out for you
to betray me
for this sentence to be short
we must work together.

*

Frightening movies
about outbreaks and contagions
have poorly prepared us
for a pandemic in which
the dramatic early stages
are followed not
by a return to normal
but to life with the virus
becoming the new normal.

*

We expect that doctors will
first, do no harm
and while this is certainly
a fair expectation to have
of medical professionals
what a world it might be
if more of our neighbors
believed that they also
had an obligation to
first, do no harm.

*

When they tell you
(and they will tell you)
that it is time
for you to get a grip
it may feel as though
they are telling you
that it is time
for you to get la grippe
which in fairness
is pretty much
what they are saying.

*

There’s no point
in lying about it
thus, I confess, that yes
the virus worries me
I have been quite concerned
about what it might mean
for my physical health
but the damage done
to my mental health
has come not from the virus
but from watching my society
surrender to the virus.

*

In our eagerness
to move on
we seem to have decided
to reclassify the novel virus
as a short story virus.

*

In the end
we are not so different
what happens to someone else
can happen to you as well
a person falls in love
so you too may fall in love
a person writes a book
so you too may write a book
a person falls ill
and never fully recovers
so please realize
that person could be you.

*

We are told
that we should look
with fear and suspicion
at those who still insist
on wearing masks
for in our society
there is nothing more
suspicious and frightening
than a person
who cares about others.

*

*

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-Fifty-Sixth Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Fifty-Fifth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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