Sunday, April 5, 2020

Talking to Myself Sixteen

Talking to Myself Sixteen April 5, 2020

A new kind of plague let loose
in the world. How could we forget
the numbers lost in the 1300s and
even to the 1800s in Europe and
Asia: the Bubonic and Pneumonic?
Millions died, carried by fleas from
rats, spread by ships. We thought we 
ran the world, but the world as we
knew it has disappeared. “Please
stay at home. Wash your hands.
Keep six feet away from your
friends and loved ones. Don’t travel.”
We have to go out for food and
medicine. The hospitals need masks,
ventilators, more nurses. “Please
stay home. It saves lives. Maybe
yours or someone you love. The 
elderly are most at risk.” Young
men in pickup trucks speed through
the quiet neighborhoods. “We are
staying home, but the death toll is
still rising. Blame China, blame
the president. Save the economy.
Wall Street is staggering. The
stimulus package won’t be enough.
Millions have lost their jobs. Stores
are closing. Yet this year there
were daffodils and forsythia, the
yellows of spring, and the white
iris. First one, then a second. The
violets have moved into the flower
garden. More iris lift their buds.
The hydrangea is leafing out. Day
lilies rise in time for June. We won’t
forget this--ever.

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