Under the Second Wave – Guest Post by Felicity Sidnell Reid…

Under the S
econd 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

looking out—


once more.


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—

pandemics dehumanize

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,

she thinks…


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

enormous grief?

Copyright © 2020 Felicity Sidnell Reid

Felicity Sidnell Reid

Barnes & Noble




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