Poem for a Pandemic: A Nightmare and a BlessingPosted: April 19, 2020
I confess I’m afraid.
Afraid of the dreaded zombie virus
That stalks our streets and spaces.
I’m fighting it, staying home, washing hands,
Missing the theater,
Dinners with friends,
Long coffee dates.
Instead, long days at home,
Phone calls to keep up with friends,
Long Zoom meetings for business and pleasure.
Nighttimes of anxiety insomnia.
And no excuses for not working on The Project.
A poet friend said it’s like having
A long-term residency.
And every day, as I survey
The long hours ahead,
I know that some of them
Can be devoted to writing
As well as simply reading for pleasure.
Novels, history, poetry.
Some day, maybe soon, I’ll finish this beast
I’ve worked on off and on for years.
I’ve made progress in just a month.
Fine-tuned the contents.
Written new essays.
Gathered up my work
Published in other places
Around the cavernous internet. .
Together: Will they create
A coherent, meaningful package
That might inspire another writer,
Or interest another reader?
What’s the life of a writer, anyway?
It demands moments, no, hours, of solitude.
It’s not writing in restaurants or noisy cafes.
It’s just words, words, words, as If in a dream.
This time of enforced solitude is a writer’s dream
Within a nightmare.