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Saturday, March 21, 2020


by Laura Rodley

Flags should be at half staff
for the innocents who went before us,
the front line sounding the alarm,
take heed, watch out, we’re the first.
Without them, there would be no frantic
rushing to close the gates of the broken dam
waging Covid-19. Without them,
no one would take Covid-19 seriously.
For the other elders at Life Care Center
at Kirkland, Washington,
and for the elders in other nursing homes
who receive no more visitors,
for the taxi drivers, actors in community
theater, restaurant workers, singers,
for those on their own front line,
for the medical workers, among the first
to be ill, the first to be tested, for the first wave,
the loss of the world
as we know it, gone,
flags should be at half mast,
for the knock to internal feelings of security
for the loss for many of financial security
for the loss of a sense of direct community
found by walking amongst each other,
flags should be at half staff.
Yes, communities have regained strength
through illustrious singing and the internet,
but for the innocents who went before
alerting the souls aboard this ship of planet earth
before their leaders did,
the flags should be at half staff.

Laura Rodley, Pushcart Prize winner, is a quintuple Pushcart Prize nominee, and quintuple Best of Net nominee. Latest books: Turn Left at Normal by Big Table Publishing and Counter Point by Prolific Press.