A Poem About Coronavirus

Collateral Damage

by Mickie Kennedy


Is it too late at 50 years of age to plant roots

and form the kind of friendships that desire

an audience with a dying man, waiting hours

by a bed until he wakes and eats

a bit of vanilla pudding? I suspect it’s not

but life remains a cracked vase that still

holds water, an oven mitt on standby

as the oven timer counts down. It’s a game of

not knowing what to do and just following

the logical conclusions. The spark

of progression stymied by the things more

difficult to do: a will, an advanced directive,

a list of passwords and bank account numbers.

It is the quiet of morning, the time for getting

stuff done when just me and my ego

just let go and drift the morning paper,

the news of more dead in almost every state,

the ones who had friends, the ones who did not,

all dying the same—alone in hospital beds

as nurses play a game of whack-a-mole

against a simple snippet of genetic code.

The virus mutates as they all do, cutting

expressions on and off, testing the breakers

for something that keeps the lights on.

Why do viruses kill their hosts? Because

they are not alive, because they are playing

a long game of set and reset, until they find

a suitable host where stasis takes place,

perhaps a bat, where perhaps this all began.

Humans are a simple casualty of viral adaptation,

caught in a shell game millions of years old.

A period of 100 years where no pandemic,

just a coffee break where on the sidelines

the virus collects its things and decides

its time to network and make friends.

I wash my hands. I sanitize the door knobs.

Still, in my lungs, an errant scrap of wind

begins to rearrange itself into molecules,

a speck the size of a housefly on a house

begins the transfer of power.

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One Response

  1. ioan pongrat says:

    Thank you .. Biblia spune ca au avut loc mutatii genetice pe pamint :Geneza 6/1-7 greu de acceptat pentru civilizatia noastra … The Bible says was hav that genetic mutations have taken place on earth: Genesis 6 / 1-7 is hard to accept for our civilization… God bless – Romania –

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