Under the Second Wave
She pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief.
(Viola, Act 2 Scene 4 of Twelfth Night), William Shakespeare
Grey days and silent streets
states of emergency declared
now a stay at home order keeps
her at the window
The news is grim—the cases climb—
exponentially increase they say.
She hurries to reconnect herself,
hunches over, nose too near
her screen, she becomes
bug eyed, reading numbers
of cumulative cases worldwide…
ninety five million, eighty six
thousand, two hundred
as of today.
Can she smell death, in spite
of locked doors and closed windows?
For don’t forget that two million
thirty three thousand, three hundred
and twenty of those people died
worldwide—that she knows about.
And how many more have passed away,
been buried in a hurry or their records
Numbers do not
mean much on this scale—
depersonalize— leave us all
to absorb the horror
on our own.
Perhaps that’s why so many
want to deny the facts, rebel
against the edicts of government ,
the advice of medical experts,
Can she, and everyone,
find such monumental
patience as to carry
them across uncertain times?
As vaccine rollouts shudder and shake
supplies are tangled in red tape.
And logistics…. do they know what
they’re doing, she worries
And when will the world
wake up to its need to mourn,
come to terms with such
Copyright © 2020 Felicity Sidnell Reid