Poetry in the Time of COVID-19

Here’s a fine poem about this time.

quarantine TV cuomo

When
by John O’Donnell

And when this ends we will emerge, shyly
and then all at once, dazed, longhaired as we embrace
loved ones the shadow spared, and weep for those
it gathered in its shroud. A kind of rapture, this longed-for
laying on of hands, high cries as we nuzzle, leaning in
to kiss, and whisper that now things will be different,
although a time will come when we’ll forget
the curve’s approaching wave, the hiss and sigh
of ventilators, the crowded, makeshift morgues;
a time when we may even miss the old-world
arm’s-length courtesy, small kindnesses left on doorsteps,
the drifting, idle days, and nights when we flung open
all the windows to arias in the darkness, our voices
reaching out, holding each other till this passes.

2 thoughts on “Poetry in the Time of COVID-19

  1. Thanks for sharing this tender poem. Many of us are still anxious or still in panic, tempered only by exhaustion, so the fast forwarding to a time of calm and sad reflection is hope on steroids, given that many experts keep telling us to prepare for months and years of pandemic conditions. I do hope this poem is prophetic.

    Like

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