What does the future hold for us? Here it is nearing the end of May, and I want to share two poems I wrote at the beginning of April, more than a month ago. Not a lot has changed. The death count continues to increase daily with it nearing 100,000 in the United States.
In the midst of this pandemic, people’s reactions shock me! One person posted on my Facebook page that this virus isn’t dangerous. Tell that to the families mourning 99,031 deaths. Tell that to the world whose losses stand today at 345,554 at 2:00 pm this sunny Sunday afternoon. I shudder at this callous response to this tragedy—it is dangerous and heartbreaking! Today, I choose empathy and compassion for the losses, for the pain, for the struggle, and I continue to wonder about our collective future.
In my circle of family and friends, I know someone who was diagnosed with Covid 19 ten weeks ago and is still experiencing symptoms. So some say it’s just like the flu? I’ve never had a flu that lasted that long.
My first poem contemplated the new post-coronavirus future.
What Do We Face? April 1, 2020 The future always felt Predictable! Not now! Not post-coronavirus pandemic, Not after the deaths The insanity The world in turmoil! What’s coming? Social distancing ‘til April 30 More cases More deaths! 100,000’s dead? 1,000,000’s sick? The uncertainty No one knows For sure But why? Our tech age believed We could control Order Orchestrate the world! But no! Here we stand frozen Paralyzed Isolated 2020— with all its advances can’t contain this small tiny enemy It controls us! The USA Ill-prepared So sad, But so true! Trump, a part of the problem Yes, But China lied! Would he have acted differently If he knew the truth? Not 81,000 deaths in China But possibly forty times that amount! 3,240,000 Oh, my God! We will never know. Where are we headed? Done and recovered At the end of April? May? September? I haven’t even a thought About our financial losses Not in the wake of the deaths The sickness and trauma The despair! We’re all in the same boat Headed somewhere, Destination unknown God, help us!
My second poem did a reality check. Reality—different to different people? I’ve struggled with reality my whole life, wanting to live in a LaLa Land of my own making, but adulthood forced me out of that imaginary land into the territory of the REAL The coronavirus catapulted me farther—into a stark face-to-face encounter with reality.
Reality Check April 2, 2020 The sun keeps shining The world spins Night follows day. On the surface Normal is constant. Yet the massive choirs Of heartbroken cries resound Across the plains Down through the valleys Atop the mountains Through the deserts Human kind is under attack A virus war zone! People die The number mounts! Doesn’t matter his color Her Ethnicity His Religion No immunity! The coronavirus kills Has no prejudices Is not judicious in its target The massive grief grows The weight of the pain stresses This world to its limit A mother A father A Daughter Die alone Not a hand to hold No last kiss and hug! And it’s not just the virus’ victims But anyone unlucky enough To die now Like my dear friend, Jan Steel Karen, Joan, and Julian stood vigilant Outside Jan’s door No kiss No touch No hug Only death! Hearts break in unison Too many to count— Exponential pain multiplied By this devastation! Yet the sun rises Days melt into weeks Pain from this horror lingers Forever An acrid taste in my mouth And Heart!
You may wonder why I keep posting my poems. I struggled so through this pandemic and recorded it. I wonder if you relate to my cares and concerns. Let me know.
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~Whitey & Gladys Puerling, playful friends of Flippo’s, created a Fan Club. I thought it would be fun to recreate this group. Would you like to join the Marshall Flippo Fan Club Facebook page? Read interesting posts about Flippo’s life. https://www.facebook.com/groups/328325644382769/