Quarantine, Day 23: A poem

Quarantine, Day 23

It moved too fast, the spreading darkness
A scythe, brushing past me, snagging others
At first a distant taunt
Then an exponential climb

Robber of breath and the wisdom of ages,
wisdom we never passed on
because we weren't ready to need it

Instead we loitered in pajamas
Gorged ourselves with a streaming feed
Of digitized rants and marching graphs and farcicality
Gluttons for the mass trauma of the outside world, for any reminder 
that out there there are people, that this is real.

And when we had fed ourselves sick,
We could not sit still, so we paced
The mania restless in our bones,
Occasionally scrubbing things.

We already knew that we had run from stillness,
that we should have been home more before all this,
to watch the radishes grow
and the children.

And then, with it rapping at the window,
We wondered if being walled in, screened off
with no way of helping
Was some kind of justice 

We waited in the gloom that seemed to seep from our pores
Waited for the virus to pass through our cells like a ghost
Waited for the poverty of souls it would leave in its wake
Held books in our hands with good intentions
Just staring at the page

At least it was Spring--
and in the sunlight the buds and the greens and the falcons didn't even seem to notice
that the people of the earth were alone
in their collective grieving
and that their fear feels an awful lot like a sore throat

How can the sunlight just sit there?  

--by Anita Fairbanks


  1. Beautifully done, it gives us the full range of our emotions, disbelief, anger, gluttony, and finally faith in nature and springtime. Love it! Suzy Beal, Bend poet and friend of Siobhan.

  2. PS: Also mother of Bree Beal, my claim to fame. Suzy

  3. You captured the emotions many of us are going through so well. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you for sharing your writing again. Beautiful photo too.


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