Dying in a pandemic, Let me count the ways: The solitude inside our cocoons Softens but never loses its edges. No human contact robs us of our humanity. The fears of disease buzzes in our heads As we stare at death a thousand times a day. Fear of breathing, Fear of someone’s particulate, (You never knew to fear!) Fear of the unknown, the knowable, The endless lists of do’s and don'ts, The smell of hand-sanitizer that dries out skin, Rushing to collect groceries in stores with half-empty shelves, Admiring all those brave souls working to feed you, Partially hidden behind a multitude of face masks and shields. And then there are those sick and dying, Those already dead and gone. The lingering sorrow From the havoc of Covid-19. One year down, How many more to go before normalcy returns? Before the rhythms of daily life bring back life…to some, Before the bells toll and remembrance begins, Before the history books are written Of this year of Our Lord 2020, When we’ll visit cemeteries to commemorate The hideous loss of life that pandemics bring.
About the Poet:
Tobias Maxwell is the author of three novels, The Month After September, Thomas, and The Sex and Dope Show Saga; a novella, And Baby Makes Two; three memoirs, 1973—Early Applause, 1977—The Year of Leaving Monsieur, and 1983—The Unknown Season; as well as a poetry collection, Homogium.