This poem was inspired by a heart-wrenching story in the New York Times out of Lima Peru, in which they described the plight of a fifty-year-old man, whose family fell prey to COVID in the month of May 2021. The epidemic is still running rampant in South America, where vaccines are very hard to get. I have even read stories of vaccine tourists coming to Florida to get a shot, since they could not get one, in their own country. At the same time, the US is declaring victory over the disease.
Not too far to our South, things are–how shall I say this–going South.
The horrific details in this poem come from the New York Times story. Please be generous, in supporting those in need.
Thanks for coming by to read!
No mass. No wake. No flowers.
A tiny plastic bag.
A taxi to the graveyard.
It’s taking all I had.
They sacked me, as I wheezed, a-bed.
They would not take the blame,
Were I to die. Nor would they take
My children, that remain.
It’s fishbone soup, for supper.
We’re camping in the cold.
We’re squatting, without prospects,
Except the town, below.
They call survivors “lucky.”
We’re living hand to mouth.
No one can proclaim, “It’s over!”
If they’re looking South.
Copyright 2021 Andrea LeDew
For a “call to arms,” that is, vaccines in arms, read The Five Hundred Thousand.