March 15, 2020

A poetic response to Coronavirus, Covid-19

World, Map, Black, Splash

Hello friends.

As a poet, I see things in color. I see them in emotion. This Coronavirus (Covid-19) thing has me digging deep—hence this poetic response I hope you can enjoy and find a sense of connectivity, empathy, and courage.

March 15, 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19)
First appears at a meat and seafood market, December 2019, Wuhan China.
By January 11, China announces first Coronavirus death.
By January 20, the virus reaches the U.S.

March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declares a pandemic.

Entire countries are shutting down to contain the outbreak, to save our immunocompromised, our elderly, our vulnerable. We all wait for our turn to face something we cannot even see.

March 15, 2020

We’ve become colored dots,
numbers trapped inside the lines,
the borders — our skins.

A sneeze, a cough, a fever.
A mask — put it on.
Stay inside.

Pathogens hitching rides in bodies,
in cars, on planes, opting for a cruise
across the ocean.

Hosts are all the same to a virus,
one just as good as the next.

Dotted lines stretch country to country,
like invisible creatures, leaping smooth arcs.
The newscaster shows us,
her plastic smile bent with worry.

Italy is closed. Our schools; closed.
We wait for Trump to speak,
to circle himself in with Sharpie,
to lift the people with his tongue.

Sometimes, I think his mind is a ball,
rolling downhill. Everyone shoves their
sleeves up their arms and heave-ho’s that
swollen mind up a hill, up a hill.

Let there be Sharpie!
Let them eat cake!
Let them fight over toilet paper!

What color shall we choose next,
for the states that now have deaths?
Sharpie new lines, ones that make sense.
Impenetrable ones. Make a bold circle.
Encircle us all.

I wash my hands, counting the seconds.
Carefully, smartly — responsible citizen am I!
I use the wipe across the shopping cart,
on my hands. The hand sanitizer clipped
to my purse strap. I did not touch my face.
I gather the groceries and cough medicine.

Safely home, I check his fever again.
I measure out the medicine
and change the channel.

I wash my hands
I wash my hands
…27, 28, 29, 30…

The humans are moving slowly,
closing their doors.
the incubation
of society, of anxiety.

The earth heaves a deep sigh.

View on The POM

Thank you for reading. I hope you will continue to follow my work. If you enjoyed this poem, will you consider sharing this link (or the link from The POM—above) with your followers to show your support? Thank you.

Follow Me

Poetically yours,

Christina M. Ward
author of organic