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Wednesday, August 12, 2020


by Laura Rodley

It’s not OK that Covid lurks
on sheet metal, lingers in lungs,
six hour window between tenants
in vacation rentals, disinfecting all
surfaces, holding onto our face masks.
It’s not OK I cannot see the stranger’s
face to know what they are saying,
who they are, if they might be safe or not.
It’s not OK that school might not
start up again and all rights of passage,
hallmarked by the start of school
in September, college, the rights of passage
are now given over to the power
of the internet, now zoomed into outer
space—are we being recorded? Who is
mapping our thoughts? It is as though
all the ways we knew how to live
and be kind, follow the markers, each right
of passage has left us with an earth
that’s flat, no longer round: what if Columbus
never sailed the seas, he drowned in them,
it was someone else who discovered America
and it was not someone looking for gold.
It was discovered by accident,
and no one was taken prisoner.

Laura Rodley, Pushcart Prize winner, is a quintuple Pushcart Prize nominee, and quintuple Best of Net nominee. Finishing Line Press nominated her Your Left Front Wheel Is Coming Loose for a PEN L.L.Winship Award and Mass Book Award. FLP also nominated her Rappelling Blue Light for a Mass Book Award. Former co-curator of the Collected Poets Series, until Covid-19, Rodley taught the As You Write It memoir class for 12 years.  She edited and published As You Write It, A Franklin County Anthology volumes I-VI, also nominated for a Mass Book Award. Latest books Turn Left at Normal by Big Table Publishing and Counter Point by Prolific Press.