Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Christine Rhein: Panic

March 13, 2020

        
Because it’s too late now
            to sound the alarm
over the lack of alarm,
            over the sudden
wealth of it. Because look 
            at the Dow, the S&P, 
at markets all over town
            out of soap, aspirin,
bread. Because of the canned
            soups I bought
for my father—age 88,
            and the way he sighed
at me—his cupboards full
            making him nervous
about the chance that food
            and money might go
to waste. Because the virus
            keeps floating
on the nightly news, one cell
            like a giant globe
of clustered red flags. Because,
            while warning us
not to touch our faces,
            that health official
touched hers, and last week,
            at my physical,
my doctor smiled, sanitizing 
            his hands, hugging 
me hello. Because here
            in Michigan—
the first COVID-19 reported
            three days ago,
and now, in Detroit—
            my son’s last day
of teaching for a while.
            Because, after sending
the fifth graders home 
            with letters in Spanish,
he emailed—Mom and Dad,
            I’m really scared 
that my kids will end up 
            going hungry. 
Because who needs free lunch,
            math, science,
testing kits, when a president 
            doesn’t take 
responsibility at all for delay,
            proudly declaring 
two very big words—
            national emergency.

Copyright 2020 Christine Rhein

4 comments on “Christine Rhein: Panic

  1. lostinmist
    March 23, 2020

    There is an HTML/CSS solution for hanging indented lines if you’re interested. May not matter much with this poem’s short lines but with longer and block-length lines they won’t show right on smaller windows:
    https://lostinmist.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/solved-html-css-for-poetry-standard-format/

    Liked by 1 person

    • lostinmist
      March 23, 2020

      I guess this one isn’t quite the hanging indent case, but the same CSS properties with line classes could be used. And I agree with Beth, nailed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beth Peyton
    March 23, 2020

    Nailed it. Amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on March 23, 2020 by in Health and Nutrition, Poetry.

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