This poem describes the reeling spasms of a great nation hit by an infectious disease it was completely unprepared to take on. The very symptoms of the coronavirus, seem to accurately describe the virus’s effect on our country in April 2020.
The lack of a plan, or any ready antidote to our predicament, suddenly left us in an position of unexpected, uncharacteristic weakness. Like some other giants of history and the Bible.
In the poem I refer to:
- the Titanic sinking
- the COVID victims’ bodies that were hidden in a shed to avoid scandal
- the medical people being overwhelmed and sometimes killed by the virus
- the new delivery economy that sprang up overnight
- the ever-present fear of inhaling another’s tainted breath and
- the miserable fate shared by so many, of dying alone.
In April, anyway, it felt like this virus might be the tiny pebble that would take the giant down.
No lifeboats handy,
Cleaved by an iceberg
And now, capsized.
Hidden from kin,
In the back, in the shed;
Nurses and doctors,
Live-blog the carnage,
Some stricken, instead.
And palm their foreheads,
At the slightest cough;
Masked men deliver
Dropping on doorsteps
And driving off.
Are felt for miles:
Thus falls Goliath
To David’s stone.
Copyright 2020 Andrea LeDew
For a poem on tone-deafness in government in a country’s time of need, read On Pharoah’s Watch.
For another look at the pain inflicted by the coronavirus and the effort to make things look better than they are, see All Made Up.