Plague Daze


The day is Shakespeare’s birthday

The day he was christened

His death was around the same date, too

Someone took the head

From the grave


The governor wants to open the state

Though people are still dying

The economy is life-and-death, too,

At least to politicians

Corporate deciders

Two groups so out of touch

What do they know of life but

How to turn it toward a matter of



I feel the air

Reopening would bring

Simply to think about it

The lifting off the shoulders of

The weight of shutting-in

Factories open

Schools resume, somehow

All the pubs along the second street

Invite us in again


But readers of “The Masque” can

See the lunacy in attitude

Alone without a treatment

A thousand sixteen hundred twenty-two

Dead in Pennsylvania,

One state among

Many states

How is it where you are?

Do you want to know?

I don’t, here or there

I want to have a pint in Boiling Springs

As I’ve never enjoyed one before


But here and there it is

Now the announcement that

Certain testing sites are closing

Everyone it seems

Wants to be normal

Well, why not?

Why not, because it’s far from done

We’ve left it now a

Game of dodge-ball

Hope you’re not hit

Me, too

The danger is for all of us

All of us connected like

Scratches on an antique metal plate

A month away, we think we’ve had



C L Couch



Source: Esri; Johns Hopkins


Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash