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Friday, July 10, 2020


by Marc Swan

Two couples, one deck, no masks,
seated at separate tables
six feet apart drinking chilled white wine,
eating snacks from separate trays—
crackers, bleu cheese, olives, carrots, celery.
Conversation starts with tomato plants—
kind, size, growing patterns, anticipation
of the fruit called by some a vegetable
that will soon burst through on this deck.
Dusk settles, conversation shifts to the virus—
what we know, what we believe, what
we want the future to hold for us, for our
families. Subject moves on to politics—
a litany of those things we can’t control,
think about, worry about, and here we are
once again saying it out loud. Hopeful
on one level, pessimistic on another.
The take down of a society, principles
and values, by one man and his motley crew
in less than four years. Good thoughts
on fruit ripening replaced by anger, confusion,
hopelessness. Thunder jolts the air, rain
falls in heavy pelts against the umbrellas.
We’re invited inside, not sure the best plan,
but here we are socially distanced, no masks,
a fresh glass of white wine in hand,
conversation shifts to what we can control
or at least think we can.

Marc Swan’s latest collection all it would take was published in May 2020. Poems forthcoming in Gargoyle, The Stony Thursday Book, Channel Magazine, among others. He lives in coastal Maine 
with his wife Dd.