Poetry from J.K. Durick

Plague Poem for Day Nine

and I always thought they lived

outside my imagining they did

were actual links to reality

solid shapes coming and going in

patterns they control – but today,

and yesterday now that I think of it,

the street out front has been/is empty

the neighborhood is neighborless –

the cars strangely silent,

the children playing elsewhere, if at all,

joggerless, dogwalkerless, the elderly couple

walk for their health no more, perhaps

there never was a mailman after all —

the whole world has become worldless,

absent, misplaced, unaccounted for

like it never was, never wasn’t, won’t be

— I’d open the blind most mornings

like this and there it was and there

I imagined it would always be.

Plague Poem for Day Thirteen

This morning is so quiet here:

my careful morning routine

seems hollow, empty of all

the meaning I assigned it before,

why even the birds hesitate at

the feeder, sing to themselves

if at all, or just recall the songs

they sang before, before this,

these numbers that numb us –

more than 22,000 dead worldwide,

over a thousand in the U.S. –

the numbers seem mysterious,

distant suggestions floating by

hinting at things beyond this

morning quiet, this isolation

I have made of myself, for myself.

When does it catch up with me?

When does this slight cough connect

me with others, gives me my place

in the count on the morning news?

               Plague Poem for Day Fourteen

As faithful as that, they are there each morning, early

as if waiting all night to announce the latest, as if

the virus was theirs to dole out a little at a time, yesterday

the mathematics of it, exponential, then geometric growth,  

the effected and the dead, and now today a new symptom

they’ve discovered to haunt us – can I taste, can I smell,

is this headache the usual eyestrain or persistent, just like

the coughing I do in the morning as if I’m a cold engine,

the aging car in the driveway trying to start up again, did

I get too close then touch my face, should I stand back even

further than I have my whole life, this checking of new

symptoms has become a symptom of this new virus that

has us, has us turning to the networks and internet, has us

waking to the “they” that have been waiting all night to make

our day.

One thought on “Poetry from J.K. Durick

  1. Strong work, it certainly captures some of the moment we are living.

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