Covid Spring

I’m really excited and honored to be included in Covid Spring,
an anthology of Covid pandemic themed poems
by New Hampshire poets from New Hampshire State poet laureate Alexandria Peary and published by Hobblebush Books.

“Fifty-four of the state’s poets are represented in this anthology, writing of job loss, loneliness and love, masks, social distancing, surreal visitors, uncertainty, graduations deferred, grief, neighborly and less-than-neighborly acts, observing the beginning of the pandemic and making projections about the future, recalibrating or confirming what it means to be human, to be a resident of this region. In a remarkable range of poetic form and style, these writers provide a thirty-day snapshot of what life was like in the Granite State in April of 2020.” NH State Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary

Below is my contribution to Covid Spring which can be purchased from Hobblebush Books


A corona is a halo of light:
ring of fire of solar explosions,
aura of a holy person,
steady burn of the only love we’ve ever known.

Quarantine is a lazy pattern
of slowly bouncing off the walls.
Now, I would trade a lifetime of hug-less safety
for one warm deadly embrace.

The virus erases all borders.
No wall can mitigate its migration.
Segregated just out of reach by six feet of air.
Confined to the cages of our own homes.

There’s no change without pressure.
As the crushing gravitational fusion of hydrogen lights our star
so does the gravity of our situation break our hearts
to forge some new element.

We can’t go back to the way it was.
That was the path that led us here.
Cleaner air and water around the world
shows us an answer we’ve been looking for.

The drama, thriller, horror, comedy of this moment
can’t be watched from the couch.
Re-enter the wild world, rubbing our eyes in the sun
like newborn bees emerging from the honeycomb.

The nurse and the grocery clerk are all of us.
Despite their masks, I see them more clearly:
the corona glow around their holy heads;
the steady burn of the only love that’s ever mattered.

Mike Nelson

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