Pandemic Poem #23

I wrote my 23rd Pandemic poem on Easter Sunday.

(Reading tip: if you are reading this on your phone screen, turning the screen sideways will result in a correct placement of each line; otherwise, they are broken up in unusual and not especially poetic fashion.)


Pandemic Pasch

It’s a rainy, cloudy, windy Easter Sunday–
my online Irish class informs me that’s
Domhnach Cásca báistí, scamallach agus gaofar.
The pandemic cannot stop the passage of time, nor
alter this day’s significance to those who find it so
for their own reasons.
My daughters not yet too old followed the trail,
willingly picking up their shit
(because we told them the jelly beans strewn on the floor
leading to their baskets of candy and inevitable sugar rush,
then coma, are Easter Bunny poop.)
In the world beyond our smaller sphere,
congregations stayed home, yet crosses flowered in yards
shared with the world through social media sites,
the images so bright with blooms
you’d swear you smelled them through the ether,
though we cannot stroll past them to smell for ourselves
on our Easter after-dinner walk, but dinner still happens
and family calls, and rain falls, and we climb the walls
glad to be home and healthy, wanting to be out and about,
understanding our limitations, itching to transcend them–
and that’s certainly no different than any other Easter,
under any other conditions, in any other year.
So it is a rainy Easter Sunday in sequester here,
and this world is mad but still wonderful.


(Originally written 4/12/2020)


I invite those who are also writing creatively in response to the pandemic to share their words in the comments below. 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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