Pandemic Poems for Us All #3
Poems written in the moment, spurred by the immediacy of pandemic, and not much revised. Is it literature? Not yet! Well, maybe a couple of lines, but still, meant to be shared because what else can we do to compete with isolation?
Once decided, and without any idea of cost,
we figured out first how we’d break the sod,
to dig that dead orchard’s turf. We figured it
would take some work, and we’d have no help.
We figured out an old school strategy,
planned first for deer—the fence had foiled
us last time we tried—now a protective picket
pocked with posts every eight feet, heavy
mesh of wire, a gate, and buried trickle hose
with bucket standing at attention on the north,
then troweling the roots and building beds.
We could even add compost, left from
years abandonment—a rotted pile, never used.
Manure, some organic dirt, top soil from our woods.
Is it this that led us out of viral funk? Just
the idea of an attempt has, for three days,
kept at bay the mind’s disease, that noise.
A garden is not much, but it changes
the way the light comes on. Or maybe it’s
the spring, there is that, but in the end,
just today, we walk the field, rake
the weeds away, set the stakes, tape
a reckless boundary, get our hands
so dirty we have to scrub
even harder than we did before, and
perhaps that too is protecting us.