Covid19. A poem by Margaret O’ Driscoll

Without warning the storm surfaced
over Roaring Water Bay, lifting tangled
seaweed forests from the ocean floor,
then spasms along my back got going,
my breath sounds raspy as a rusted saw,
an invading fever demon pleating
my lungs into devilish accordions.
All the while truculent Poseidon
agitated the ocean with his moody trident,
ripples hammering across the harbour became
angry water walls taller than chimneys,
urged on by a witch cackling wind.

Never had I been ricocheted in such delirium
both eyes crackling like papery bark off
the silver birch outside my bedroom window,
such a desperate paddling to remain
afloat on that sinking sheet of pain,
when would the compass needle steady
itself again above this agitated body,
and all the while a tsunami through the trachea
came up, Charybdis spurting and glugging her whirly-glee,
I surrendered to the capricious lung-shaker,
a briny pleura locked in the agony of corona virus.


Margaret O’ Driscoll is currently a student of the MA in Creative Writing Programme in UCC

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