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Tuesday, May 12, 2020


by DeWitt Clinton

Too many days identical to identical days though
Identical days are far better than having no identical
Days left, as in that was the last identical day we spent
But then, you’ll be coming along soon I suspect, just
As the rest of us don’t really have a lifetime left though
Everyone is saying we’ll get over this, through this, we’ll
Make it, just take big deep breaths, eat Brussel sprouts,
Ease up on the whites and reds or for our friend up the
Road, the foreign sounding frothy drink he ends each day
With but really, it’s only not so bad if someone you know
Doesn’t call or send a text or drop in on a video check
As the bad boy virus is going to take way too many of us
Even if we keep a positive glow about all that’s happened
So far, and the reports of available masks made across
The oceans, the make-shift ventilators, the gloves that
Seem to tear even as we put them on, perhaps it’ll just
Be that unmasked ungloved shopper eager to stock up
On a basket of groceries, Charmin, Bounty, Clorox wipes,
Or just about anything that might convince us we’re clean,
We’re not sick, we don’t have a dry cough just a cough
Now and then, and our temp is about the same as it’s
Always been, and the chest occasionally feels all wound
Up but it’s probably just something we ate that gives
Us such a burn that would put any of us into a panic
Over is this it, is this what we’re trying to dodge, is this
Tasty tiny bat going to take us all out, like this, right now?
Well, yes, as the bad bug seems to constantly evolve
Into something we can’t even begin to imagine, though
Whatever it is, we’re just never going to know exactly
How to take the bugger out, just like granny did years
Ago when she twirled that chicken around and around
Then placed the goofy neck out nice and straight so
No one would have to wonder, ever again, what some
Of us, but not all of us, might be salivating again as
By sundown, the table is set, parts are frying, and
We just hope everybody we knew yesterday will
Be knocking on the door, hoping there’s still a chance
That tomorrow will be another chance for another
Identical day that will help us to get through what
Some of us actually look forward to, something identical.

DeWitt Clinton is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, and lives in Shorewood. Recent poems of his have appeared in Lowestoft Chronicle, The New Reader Review, The Bezine, The Poet by Day, Verse-Virtual, Poetry Hall, Muddy River Poetry Review, Across the Margin, and Art + Literature Lab. He has two poetry collections from New Rivers Press, a recent collection of poems At the End of the War from Kelsay Books, and a collection of poetic adaptations of Kenneth Rexroth’s 100 Poems from the Chinese in production from Is A Rose Press.