The Contagion

Despite Google and experts, it’s fair to say
it caught us off guard – by surprise.
There was not a lot of joined up thinking,
and early on in the piece, some wondered
how such an antique doom could still
stalk the land with scythe and skull.
Towns slammed their gates,
the plague already inside the walls.
Measures were taken, and when those
measures did not suffice, other methods
reclaimed from shadowed past.
The aged and weak abandoned
in long moaning corridors,
breath crushed out by winged goblins
crouched on their chests.
Our isolated selves gathered by screens
and we followed by tweet, post, insta,
the leisurely progress of an end.
Kings must once have gaped
at flames eating the mounds of dead
in town squares. Our leaders,
versed in modern politics,
negotiated with the contagion.
They spoke of stimulus, negative growth
for consecutive quarters,
and soothed our intimations of mortality.
The living must eat, after all.



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