Plague Poems #8
Plague Poems #10

Plague Poems #9


Sometimes, knowledge is a comfort,
sometimes, a weapon. Sometimes
it brings its own tortures in reminders
of lessons unlearned,
whether you are oracle or prophetess,
historian or social scientist.
You see the previous, familiar patterns,
the churning and the change
but not the outcome.

Knowing how contagion and immunity works
tells me that this is the fabled New Normal.
How long it lasts
depends upon the character
of the wee vicious beastie
that jumped the genetic wall
between humans and animals,
if it’s constantly mutating, seasonal
and recurring,
or mostly a one-off, stopped dead by vaccines.
We won’t know for months yet,
or longer. But it’s not
disappearing. Learn to live with it
if possible.

And too many books about the Black Plague
and the decades after it
tell me this will be a Turning Point
to a New Society,
though of what kind I cannot say.
(I predict
masks will become fashionable,
handshakes fall from favor.
Kidding. Sort of.
Those are mere customs, not
social structures.)
Even now, though, the voices of laborers
forced to throw themselves into the maw
of an economy that already eats them alive
are growing louder as they balk
at being counted expendable
on the balance sheet.
Upheaval is coming.
There will be no going back to Normal.

Welcome to Interesting Times.
Buckle up.
That’s the best I can tell you.

‒May 1, 2020, Brooklyn
©Lee Kottner, 2020


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