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.
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.
of society, of anxiety.
The earth heaves a deep sigh.
This poem is written in response to POMprompt # 12.
Here’s how to submit to The POM:
Christina M. Ward 💗 is a writer, poet, novelist, and poetry editor. Her first poetry collection organic has reached best seller status on Amazon in at least 2 categories for nature poetry books in its first few months. You can follow her poetic works at Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry or join her Author Newsletter.