What can I say that no one else has said? All the newscasts are filled with Covid-19 reports, and they sound more dire as the days progress. I’m staying in my home except for grocery shopping, as are most of the people I know. We communicate by phone, email and text, as well as Zoom.

Zoom seems to have become the premier method of group gatherings. Some friends and I spent time together on it recently, and had a nice time catching up, talking and laughing. There’s something about seeing people’s faces even at a distance that makes the contact more intimate and meaningful, at least for me.

Yet with all the turmoil and overwhelm, life continues. But I’m wondering what will come after this crisis is over. Will we have been changed? Will we have awakened to the bare truths that have become clear during this time? Will we proceed in a different direction to repair and save the only home we have? I would like to think so, but I wonder. Sadly, I think we may sink back into what, over the years, has become “normal.” We may be relieved that the worst is over and adopt our old patterns to feel safe again. It will take a huge effort to not do that, to choose health for ourselves and our planet going forward.

I wrote two poems that began the same way, but ended differently. I posted the one with a positive ending on Facebook and read it on Open Mic of the Air, because I thought it is what people would want to hear at that moment, and it was relevant, too. But I will include the first version here, because it, as well, needs to be heard.

Virus

The magnolias in my front yard are blooming,
There is a blue jay sitting on my fence, peeping,
and spring rain is greening up my lawn.

Daffodils are showing their faces
en masse
in the medians of our city streets.

Regardless of our human condition,
the natural world is continuing
its normal flow.

From winter into spring
it marches without pause,
not looking back

to see if we’re coming along with it.
In fact, it’s thriving
because of our absence,

the lack of smoke in the air,
vehicle exhaust fogging the roads,
manufacturing waste pouring into rivers.

We are beginning to see
the other virus affecting our planet
has been our relentless abuse.

© 2020 Dorothy A Joslyn

What do you think may come next?

Write your own poem about the Covid-19 virus with an ending that reflects your feelings right now.

What is your next step? How do you expect to change, or not, when the crisis is over?

4 replies
  1. Laura
    Laura says:

    Thank you, Dottie!
    Here is my riff on your poem. 🙂

    A Next Step

    A slant of mid-morning sun at my back,
    Refrigerator hums, I click on my laptop keyboard to reach a hand forward…to you,
    Somewhere daffodils show their faces, spring rains warm the earth,
    While snow still piles outside my Northern window.

    See how I, too, am implicated in the relentless abuse.
    Today I may shovel, shop for groceries, talk to a friend, smile,
    Take stock of grief.
    Decide again to turn this face toward the light.
    Decide again not to turn my back.

    Reply
  2. Kathi Gowsell
    Kathi Gowsell says:

    I wonder if we’ll learn anything or turn back to our old ways, too, Dottie. Time will tell!! Maybe the voices that defend Mother Nature and the planet will be louder than ever when this is over. Hmmmm.

    Reply

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