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Quarantine



When the government signaled retreat,
we withdrew to our apartments and locked the doors.
We covered our mouths and washed our hands like Lady Macbeth,
watched our screens, where the President of Two Thousand Lies
pretended to be in charge, of the country and of himself.  Divided,

we waited to be conquered, for the good of the elderly, the ill,
for the good of strangers, for the good of good and our own damn selves.
We worked from home and realized how little we worked, how little it mattered.
Celebrities became zoo animals in gilded cages, billionaires headed to their bunkers,
and we pretended like we were all in this together.

But Fear thy neighbor, for he is unclean.  We dashed out, from time to time,
among rumors of the sick, for groceries or take-out fast food, garbed in PPE
and hazmat suits, went into banks wearing masks and demanded money,
and wondered idly why the traffic seemed so heavy, perhaps pondered
the necessary adjacency of oppositional forces.

What changes ends and begins again.
First it goes awry.  Then it goes away.
With the archiving of April we all became curators.
Marionettes, pulling at everyone's strings but their own.
Where are the worlds of different choices?

All poems are written and copyrighted by Michael C. Rush.
None may be republished or repurposed without permission.