This Poem Cannot

May 3, 2020

This Poem Cannot

This poem cannot…

End the coronavirus quarantine that we have been in for about seven weeks now

This poem cannot…

Bring back the thousands who have already died from COVID-19 (244,000 deaths as of May 3, 2020)

This poem cannot…

Protect the medical workers who lack the proper masks, gloves, and equipment to safeguard them while they care for the sick

This poem cannot…

Be the governments and industries that should have listened to the epidemiologists and those with foresight who told us this pandemic was coming and we needed to prepare – their advice ignored

This poem cannot…

Predict who will be taken down by this virus – whose lungs will quickly fill with glass shards that scrape and fall like ash with each painful, scratchy, splintery attempt at breath

This poem cannot…

Decide who will have no symptoms, no fever, no cough, no aches, but will move around the grocery store, the gas station, the pharmacy, the neighborhood – spreading the virus unknowingly as they run their errands or go about their daily lives

This poem cannot…

Protect the two parents, first the mother, then days later, the father, who died and left their daughter an orphan, to search the house alone for a will that I pray exists for her

This poem cannot…

Guarantee that the masks we are now all required to wear will actually protect us or others, that the packages that arrive will not be virus-laden, or the bottoms of our shoes will not track the virus into our homes

This poem cannot…

Protect my children, my husband, my siblings, my mother or father-in-law, my extended family, my friends, loved ones, or teachers

This poem cannot…

Take us back in time to the moment we moved freely about our days and lives, worrying about silly things

This poem cannot…

Project us ahead into the future, after the quarantine ends, after the vaccine is discovered, after the virus is understood

This poem cannot…

Hold us safely in its arms, tell us that everything will be okay, reassure us of its love and our inherent worth, our value simply through our existence and ability to think, feel, love, help, create

 

Listen to Thet read the piece here:

Welcome!

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