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Thursday, May 21, 2009


by David Feela

The internal numeric repetition
within our new name H1N1
makes the threat more factual
than its overly literal origin,
the Swine Flu.

People won’t start to panic,
mistaking the word Pandemic
for a different strain of meaning
that culminates in mass hysteria.
And how specific we will be

when the World Heath Organization
reclassifies the virus at the threat level of six.
Six on a scale of six, with international
sickness the key to classification.
Of course, pigs are still dying

but not from the disease.
It’s the threat that pork bellies
will continue to fall
and by taking stock of our futures
we find we have no futures at all.

David Feela is a poet, free-lance writer, writing instructor, and book collector.. His work has appeared in regional and national publications, including the High Country News' "Writers on the Range," Mountain Gazette, and in the newspaper as a "Colorado Voice" for The Denver Post. He is a contributing editor and columnist for Inside/Outside Southwest and for The Four Corners Press. A poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments (Maverick Press), won the Southwest Poet Series. His first full length poetry book, The Home Atlas, is now available.