Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Poem During the Plague" Poem 17

Robin Stratton is the author of four novels, including one which was a National Indie Excellence Book Award finalist (On Air, Mustang Press, 2011), two collections of poetry and short fiction, a memoir in poetry form, and a writing guide. A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she's been published in Word Riot, 63 Channels, Antithesis Common, Poor Richard’s Almanac(k), Blink-Ink, Pig in a Poke, Chick Flicks, Up the Staircase, Shoots and Vines, and many others. Since 2004 she's been Acquisitions Editor for Big Table Publishing Company, Senior Editor of Boston Literary Magazine since 2009, and she was Director of the Newton Writing and Publishing Center until she moved from Boston to San Francisco in 2018. Now she leads the popular "Six Feet of Poetry" and "Fiction by the Foot" series. 


After you finally stop thinking this
is no worse than the regular flu

After your last dinner party when you
didn’t hug hello but you recklessly hugged goodbye

After your last guilt-free non-essential
jaunt to Crate & Barrel

After the last puzzle is done and
the banana bread is gone

After you’ve posted on Facebook the covers of
ten record albums that influenced you most

After you’ve sought recommendations for
movies to watch and books to read

After you’ve accepted that you can’t stay
focused long enough to read a book

After you’ve watched season one of
Gray’s Anatomy again, and also season two

After you post your 40-year old high school graduation picture because
you think that will somehow bring comfort to the class of 2020

After you see that drone shot of
the mass graves in New York City

After you hear that people have 14
days to claim the bodies of their loved ones

After you stop being shocked

After you stop keeping track

After it starts to feel a little normal

After you’re able to go back to reading a book, even if
it’s only a biography of the Bee Gees

After all of that what
will you do and who will you be

After the virus?

1 comment:

  1. Chilled me to the bone, esp the last 2 stanzas which crept up unexpectedly. Please let this 'thing' be some existential hole that we're going to climb out of sooner rather than later. Love to you Robin.