Monday, May 04, 2020

Poem During the Plague: Poem 29

Marie Louise St.Onge
Marie Louise’s writing has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines across the country including Yankee Magazine, Clackamas Literary Review, Permafrost, Café Review, Balancing Act 2, and Grief Becomes You. She is the Executive Editor of Ad Hoc Monadnock – A Literary Anthology, a former editor for The Worcester Review, and a contributor to French Class: French Canadian-American Writings on Identity, Culture and Place. Marie Louise has read her poetry at universities, art and community centers, and bookstores throughout New England. Massachusetts born, she makes her home on the coast of southern Maine.

On the Thirtieth Day of Isolation (Covid-19) 
Marie Louise St.Onge 

Just over four weeks now, no store 
no pharmacy no haircut no meetings 
no movies no museum no protests 
no handshakes no hugs no gym simply  
solo walks along the shore. Respite indeed  
when I pull in more than my share of salted air  
and negative ions, listen carefully  
for the dogs’ barks and the surf’s voice  
rising and falling, speaking and pretty  
much always uttering something  
said before.  

When she said she was making a trip 
to the grocery and asked if I needed anything 
I found my way to yes…I found my way to yes. 
Make a list she saidMemory. Over four decades ago 
my aunt, wrapped inside a world she could not 
see, made lists: ½ lb. hamburger, one chicken breast, 
two white potatoes, ¾ lb. green beans, one quart  
orange juice, a single loaf of Wonder, 
half dozen eggs, a shaker of Ajax, two rolls  
of toilet paper, one Whitman’s pecan roll  
and a package of English muffinsMy aunt said yes.  

There is a long list of things we don’t know today  
and will not tonight or tomorrow or even next week.  
We’re living blind. So much we’ve not learned 
but now in this time of much time  
may we practice…...patience compassion stamina. 
In these lean days while we touch nothing  
except our worries, may we be moved toward grace.  
Trees persist with their bold budding, frogs are readying  
their pulse, crows build nests and mares enter estrus.  
Today I made a grocery list, such a plain way of baring need,  
leaning in and accepting a blown kiss. 


  1. Parts of this poem reminded me of the nature of my home by the sea,it took me in, and I so miss. I wish I was there for it to nurtured and sooth my spirit during this time we are in. Bridget Seley Galway

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