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Friday, April 03, 2020


by Miriam Weinstein

Before this king of viruses came to power,
her mother reminded her daily during phone calls,
I’m 96. Now she reminds her, the hospital won’t 

treat me if I catch coronavirus. Too old. An easy
target for this novel illness. Why waste
a ventilator?

The path by the creek, more popular these days
with gyms closed. A few weak smiles greet her,
some voices mutter hello. Rarely do eyes meet,

most look off in the distance or down at the ground.
People move to the edge of the path or pile of leaves
beside it to pass. We mustn’t get too close.

This is what she feels and fears. The distance, not
the virus itself. The stepping away. The incessant
hand washing. After each time she touches

her iPhone or a door knob? Washing packages
she purchased at the grocery store? This far
she refuses to go, but the checking of numbers

preoccupies her. Generally uninterested in daily
stats, now each morning she notes the uptick.
The confirmed cases, the sick, the dying, the dead.

Birds know spring is here though bits of snow still lie
crusted on flower beds. Time to stake out territory,
robins have returned north. Strutting down sidewalks

and on lawns, wild turkeys arrive out of no where,
peck at the ground. Males with tightly fanned
tails circle females.

Miriam Weinstein’s chapbook Twenty Ways of Looking was published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry appears in the anthologies Reflections on Home: The Heart of All That Is, Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands, A Little Book of Abundance, Rocked by Waters: Poems of Motherhood, and in several journals.  Her manuscript How To Thread a Needle was short-listed for the Concrete Wolf Louis award competition.