Plague Poem for Day Forty-One


and now itÕs nursing homes, those vague places

we visit now and again. We might leave our mothers

in one and feel a bit of relief from the responsibility

of being adult children, visit now and again, observe

the place knowing, we will leave and close off that

part of life – the smell of them, the scene, hallways

lined with wheelchairs, with people dozing, slumped

over staring, sometimes crying, sometimes wanting 

to say their say to anyone who will listen. This is what

we leave them to, will be left to eventually ourselves,

a manmade circle of hell filled with old age and infirmity,

and now itÕs nursing homes getting a headline or two,

numbers at least, this virus gets there before us, visits

the hallways, the wheelchairs, the people, takes its turn

with the old and the sick, their pre-existing condition

of being there now, the weak fall victim, become easy

targets, like a predator, the virus follows the herd waiting 

for the weakest to be left behind, and now nursing homes

will get a headline or two, but they were there before all

this and will be there when the virus is finished with us.




            Plague Poem for Day Forty-Two


since certainty has undoubtedly fled and the day-to-day-ness 

of our day-to-day is no longer with us, we wake each day 

to this brave new world of our own making, our version of

the land of the living dead, poorly scripted, poorly played,

poorly directed. We wake each day and discover it hasnÕt 

gone away and weÕre midstream, as always, wondering how

we got here, what blunder, what lapse in judgment could 

have brought us this far; we watch immediate history, re-

wind, play back, analyze, critique; we wait for the next idea

they can give us – what to do, when, where, how far, and

a little why; we call for a solution, a cure, something, any-

thing that can fix it, a quick fix would be best, perhaps

some sun and heat if we were open to them, or a cleansing

from the inside-out, some of us will swallow anything if it

might work, will try just about anything – what do we have

to lose, a lung, a life or two? With certainty gone, here we are

in the middle of things, remembering what we were and

wondering what we will become.




    Plague Poem for Day Forty-Three


Metaphors help when we want a true take 

on something, help us get to understand it, 

we get to picture things in a usable form.

A good one for now, the history we are living,

would be Òturning the page.Ó We have all

turned a page or two, pages both literal and 

figurative, so the visual is easy enough – 

we finish one page and then move on to 

something new. I like to picture this giant

hand sweeping down on the book we are 

living, rubbing its fingertips together, perhaps

wetting them a bit, about to turn another 

page; picture us scurrying on the page thatÕs

has already been read and the hand coming

down to turn the page itÕs done with, the one

we had our chances with, too late now the page

begins to move. The metaphor works all right,

except that in a regular book the next page has

already been written and we follow the story-

line that someone else wrote, or itÕs the last

page and we close the book and put it away.

Winners get to write the history books we live,

pick the moments worth mentioning and turn

the page knowing what they will write next,

while we scurry around on the page waiting

for the ominous hand to land and begin the

business of moving on to something new 

which may not include me and you.


© J. K. Durick


Bio: J. K. Durick is a retired writing teacher and online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Literary Yard, Vox Poetica, Synchronized Chaos, Madswirl, and Pendemic.