Poem: Quarantine

Here is a poem I have composed today about what we are all going through. Take care. Stay strong.


There is nowhere to go.
Stay at home
For forty days, maybe more.

Quarantena. Lockdown.
Shut it all down,
They say, who do not roam

In this desert without bounds.
Lost. Parched. But no fever.
We march alone relentlessly.

We wait for the daily orders
Of mad epidemiologists
Who turn models of illness

Into rules for life.
What if they are wrong?
Of course, they are wrong.

Aren’t we all?
We have lost our illusions:
We had imagined our world

Free of error,
Spared from infection,
Elevated above borders.

But nature’s demon made a zoonotic leap
Into our brittle cities.
Screamed: I am the master now.

The virus is a language.
We stammer out its meanings
In our solitary cells.

We try to master the miasma,
Cloak our orifices,
Cleanse our vulnerable touch,

Keep our distance
Even from the ones we love.
All on faith that some doctor

Said, this will work.
Whatever the cost,
Do it – to ward off death.

On Zoom, we cannot smell the fear.
We pretend to carry on
As if the war will be over by Christmas.

And none know when it will end.
Only that medical science
Will soon find a cure, if not a vaccine.

Until then, we obey;
Count each tolling bell;
Learn that death diminishes me.

Jeff Rich

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