A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
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