The pandemic has been a ubiquitous force for the past nine months, coloring our lives and swaying our political leanings.
In the midst of the pandemic, articles like this help us to feel compassion more globally, both for our contemporaries and for our temporal predecessors in suffering.
The Mexico City market spans several city blocks and in normal times, would be crowded and bustling with people. Among other workers in the market, a man named Jesus happened to be interviewed.
One vendor said that stall workers to the right and left of him as well as a customer had all died in the space of a few weeks, as the coronavirus pandemic hit the area. The market continues to be a workplace, where one must be willing to take one’s life into one’s own hands.
So many workers worldwide, essential and otherwise, find themselves suffering the same plight: They must choose between earning a living and protecting their lives.
A passion play is a play, put on around Easter, portraying the passion of Christ. That is, His suffering, as He made His way through the days leading up to His Crucifixion. We are meant to feel compassion, that is, to share in His passion, to feel his suffering with him.
Although I am not particularly religious, I was raised Catholic. I also had the good fortune to spend time in Germany.
In Germany, there is a town called Oberammergau.
In Oberammergau, they have put on a passion play every ten years (with a few postponements, such as this year) since the Black Plague first hit their little town in the 1633.
This performance has somehow, according to legend, kept the Black Death from coming back. It serves as a form of protection, like wearing an amulet.
Now, in out own time, we face a similarly widespread, fierce and relentless opponent. Perhaps it is time, that someone wrote a new passion play, to protect us.
The use of anachronistic language in this poem is intentional. To press the point, that our current mood is not so different, from that of sufferers of long ago .
Thanks for coming by to read, Stay safe!
And remember, compassion is a good quality to have, if you are the leader of the free world.
What man will pen this latest passion play:
A kind of charm, to woo the plague away?
When all despair, and men fall thick and deep,
And superstition in our minds doth creep;
When like a scythe, the plague cuts down the wheat,
And none are spared, the monied nor the meek;
When those, unscrupulous, advantage take,
No sentries watching, to correct mistake;
When down the market, men must sell or die,
Or both, accountants fudging, on the sly;
While quacks cajole our hope, with crackpot cures;
Distracting us, with yon horizon’s lures;
What man will pen this latest passion play
When, on the market, Jesus died today?
Copyright 2020 Andrea LeDew
For another poem on coronavirus, with a churchly bent, see Saints Day.
For more in the series leading up to US Election Day 2020, see Sixty Days.