It's just poetry, it won't bite

Love in the Time of COVID-19

03.22.20 Posted in today's words by

Ed Zahniser’s most recent poem to appear here was “Gestalt Declaration of Co-Dependence” (June 2019).

Love in the Time of COVID-19
By Ed Zahniser

At the grocery store, toilet-paper shelves
were bare, while at our public library
staff wondered why their patrons asked:
“Do you have any books printed on soft
papers?” Many were first-time patrons
who beefed-up the library’s user statistics,
proving how a grim national emergency
might still meet important social needs
survivors will appreciate in the future.
The president called this novel virus
“a Democrat hoax,” then lied willy-nilly
about how many test kits are available
and said he took “no responsibility for it.”

In the spirit of social responsibility, I next
visited the Sweet Shop bakery to practice
my social distancing, and I feel duty-bound
to report how they should double counter
widths to enable the mandated distance.
That, and hire less attractive young counter
clerks to discourage patrons “leaning in,”
no matter their gender identification.
Somehow this called to mind how library
patrons were also asking for books printed
with “less indelible inks,” a detail having
slipped what’s left of my mind. I guess it’s
just how love is in the Time of Covid-19.

One Response to “Love in the Time of COVID-19”

  1. annie dillard says:

    We have your soft-paper problems solved.
    As writers, and like Thoreau, we have a great many books in the house, and of those, a very great many that we wrote ourselves. They are not doing any good insulating those shelves—or at any rate not as much good as they could be doing . . .to you and yours.

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