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Wednesday, March 18, 2020


by John W. Steele

Not knowing who is shedding Novel Corona,
it’s not so bad to huddle in our caves

plugged into our phones and laptops, Zoom.
As for lining up in bare-shelved stores

who needs toilet paper, food and drink,
soap and sanitizer anyway?

Meanwhile the crocs have stopped their bellowing,
called a truce. They’ve reached across the swamp

and offered one another bite-sized hunks.
The old-bird alpha-male has softened his tweets

and started to squawk about how he is going to kill
the virus. November looms large. The other crocs,

afraid he’ll chase them from the swamp, are cowering,
hoping he won’t snap and spill their blood.

John W. Steele is a psychologist, yoga teacher, assistant editor of Think: A Journal of Poetry, Fiction and Essays, and graduate of the MFA Poetry Program at Western Colorado University, where he studied with Julie Kane, Ernest Hilbert and David Rothman. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Amethyst Review, Boulder Weekly, Blue Unicorn, Copperfield Review, Heron Clan Anthology, IthacaLit, The Lyric, Mountains Talking, The Orchards, Society of Classical Poets, Urthona Journal of Buddhism and the Arts, and Verse-Virtual. He was nominated for a Pushcart prize, won The Lyric’s 2017 Fall Quarterly Award, won an award in the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, and was awarded Special Recognition in the 2019 Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest. His book reviews have appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and Raintown Review.