Thursday, March 19, 2020

a virus hovers, closer

later might be too late

ever since my dad died abruptly, unexpectedly,
part of me keeps doubting the solidity of the ground beneath,
doubting the surety of a plan, any constancy to the world,
if a thing needs doing, I leap to do it sooner,
for later might be too late,

now a virus hovers ever closer,
as if to prove the doubter in me right,
my near half-century in the classroom with students
I see, I know, I help along their paths,
not physically with me but at a digital remove,
each of us protected by the sterility
of touch through electrical impulse and computer screen,
even the comfortable routine of shopping
a hazard I deny for fear of contagion,

our plans to fly to our granddaughters in a week and a half,
to go to the Smokies in two weeks,
poof away as if illusion,
and we wake to a different world,

I keep waking and future plans
seem tenuous like the dead in Hades,
bereft of animation, chittering shells,
who forget the fire that animates us into the future,

our planned summer trips to Costa Rica, the Smokies, Yellowstone,
shimmer like mirages we cannot count on,

part of me fears this is the great switch I’ve always expected,
part of me tells me to “buck up” and enjoy whatever moments
an unknown future still allows the present to know,
that glory still accessible to us as long as we still breathe.

by Henry H. Walker
March 18, ‘20

1 comment:

Layla said...

so greatful to read your poetries.thanks so much for writing them down so I could find strength from them.