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Edison Jennings: Flocks of Crowned Spirits

Flocks of crowned spirits infest the air,                                    

in ghetto and slum and barrio jail                  

where the castoffs are lost, past thought or care,              

the old and the poor, the hungry and frail,    


while the rich escape to seaside estates                           

sheltering in place a few sanitized days                          

behind elaborate wrought iron gates,                               

calm and assured that the plague mainly preys                        


upon the unseen, the foreign and brown                          

who huddle where air is toxic and thick,                                  

engulfing their lungs till finally they drown,                   

but one sneezing fit from the sub rosa sick,                             


or a slick of mephitic spit can infect                             

and even bring low the cloistered elect.


Copyright 2021 Edison Jennings. First published in American Journal of Poetry.

Edison Jennings lives in the southwestern Appalachian region of Virginia. In 2017, he was awarded the Virginia Quarterly Review Conference Award in Poetry.

4 comments on “Edison Jennings: Flocks of Crowned Spirits

  1. Barbara Huntington
    January 5, 2022

    Reminds me of Poe’s mask of the red death

    Liked by 1 person

  2. edisonmarshalljenningsgmailcom
    January 4, 2022

    Thank you, Michael!

    Liked by 2 people

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