A bit of what I’ve been doing

COVID Summer: Emergent
Never before so quiet,
Never before so quick–
Or distracted. Oh good.
You’re one we can save.
Have a blanket. Steroids.
Calm the welts down.
No cough here, no fever.
This one smells the hospital,
Her own exhausted breath.
Get her in, get her out.
The next won’t be so lucky.


COVID Summer: The Plain People
Two a.m. in the ER
William Butler Yeats
Can’t stand the plain people
Selling their souls; me,
I just can’t stand.
His salt of the earth
Sustain me through testing
Take me home in the dark.


COVID Summer: Hives
“Ninety percent of the things you worry about
Never come to pass,” he told us over and over.
And he was right–but then come all the things
You forgot to give a chance at that magic ninety
Red welts barely kept in check, the itching
Unexpected misery in a world of expected.
Quick, what should I worry about next?

COVID Summer: Hand Soap
Four months since I’ve seen
My favorite lemon soap
We’re halfway through
The big aloe refill bottle now,
No one singing any more,
No mantras: we’re retrained.
I still miss the lemon
And not having the list
In my head, what we need,
What we can get by on,
Soft aloe stopgaps.

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