Pandemic Poetry

I’ve been writing a poem a day since we received our first order to start social distancing. Some of the poems are explicitly about the pandemic, and some are about me responding to the pandemic, and some are about my noticing things I wasn’t noticing or giving attention to before the pandemic. Characteristically, some are weird, some are dark and twisty, some are humorous, and some are a combination thereof.

This is the first poem I wrote for this project. I wrote it on March 20, 2020. It came as I tried to quiet my mind enough to dive deeply into myself and look for a poem that first morning. It was unexpected, but set the stage for the project by reminding me that my primary outlet for thinking, feeling, coping, and understanding is and always has been the written word. So, I am writing through this, and I hope some of you will join me by sharing what you are writing in the comments!


Coiled so tightly I can’t find an end to unwind
there’s something more to me
striving to be freed
so deeply buried within
I don’t even know that I don’t know it’s there.


I am sharing the “poem-a-day” on Instagram and Twitter, as well; follow me @mridleyelmes !


About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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