Breathless. A Poem by Michael Estabrook

fever cough shortness of breath reiterated ad nauseum in endless updates discuss ions and breaking news bulletins on TV and in “helpful” emails from utilities banks credit card companies local stores even our Toyota dealer getting in on the action reminding us to wash our hands and in warnings from the government to maintain “social distancing” along with cancellations from every entertainment and sports venue and worried rumors and ignorant opinions from store clerks neighbors and friends impossible to avoid all this mindless chatter about death doom and gloom bringing me down especially because we are living among the “elderly ” the prime targets of this unstoppable viral pestilence virtually quarantining us in our homes wondering where to go what to do besides wash our hands wash our hands wash our damn hands how long will this lockdown la st and will the ensuing economic recession wipe out all our money by the ti me things get back to “normal” oh goody maybe I’ll get to go back to work again should be fun at 72 and if all this isn’t enough just the thought that getting a cold can kill you kill yo u kill you is enough to make you bonkers I sure would hate to be killed by some stupid virus

Michael Estabrook: Michael Estabrook has been publishing his poetry in the small press since the 1980s. He has published over 20 collections, a recent one being The Poet’s Curse, A Miscellany (The Poetry Box, 2019).

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