Just Another Covid-19 Saturday (My Coronavirus Diaries, Installment #6)

Saturday, March 28, 2020


I. Late-Night/Early Morning Supplication, 2:08 AM

Dark rain falls.
Drops spray
on the roof,
the windows,
the ground,
the grass,
the trees.

Not a hard rain
This time,
But a mist
In a shroud of fog.

Will the wetness
refresh the world
beyond my door?

Will this shower
lull me
to sleep?

The air is warm
and moist,
the heat turned off.
My brow is wet
with sweat.

I get up.
Take my temperature.
No fever.
Yet, a heat rises,
Inside my forehead,
which, nevertheless,
is cool to the touch
but not clammy.

Before the rain
disrupted my train
of thought,
I was making my peace
with Death.
Considered writing
an epitaph:

“Having lived much longer
than her premature birth
had suggested—
9.42 times
The mythical 7-year cycles
of life projected—
she was now prepared
to leave this world,
if God so willed.”

Not to save the Economy,
But to go to her
Rest in Peace,
Feeling Blessed.

II. The Silent Hours (Or, How I Remembered the Day), 3:38 PM

In my home, where I have lived
alone for 26 years,
I keep Silent Hours,
to hold the world at bay.

Beyond these walls and windows,
only rare noises break in.

The stray wail of a dog.

A car engine revving
as a neighbor
drives through the block.

A car door slamming
as the neighbor returns home.

Birdsong does not penetrate.
At least, not during the day.

Except for the coo, at dawn,
of a mourning dove
whose nest was once
my side porch light.

And only in the darkest hours
might a hoot owl’s call
pierce the night.

But these sounds of life
are not the ones that disturb me.

Rather, it’s the toxic noise
of the tv that threatens
to destroy me.

Within these walls,
the only sounds welcomed
are the metronome
of the clock,
the click of the
gas-fueled pump
that sends now-needed heat
through the radiators,
the periodic hum
of the refrigerator.

Not even the shrill bell
of the telephone
sounds today.
Telemarketers and scammers alike
are at rest.

III. How This Day Really Progressed (Fire and Rain)

Before 9 AM,
I was wrested from deep sleep
by loud rolling thunder,
followed by the wails
of fire trucks nearby.
For a minute or two,
I even smelled smoke
through the closed windows.

Soon, I was on my phone,
searching Facebook
for the latest news
and misinformation.

A neighborhood group
was reporting a fire,
just three streets over
from my home.

There were no reports
of injuries or
the extent of
property damage.

I hadn’t imagined the smoke.

Scrolling along,
I came upon reports
of another fire
in my quadrant of the city.

Dramatic photos
of a church steeple ablaze,
with commentary
from members
and neighbors nearby:

A historic Baltimore Catholic Church
(on the National Historic Registry)
had been struck by lightning,
and the top of the steeple—
a large metal cross—
had fallen headlong
to the ground!

Captured in flight
by our sole newspaper,
this improbable feat
was shared
ten times over
on Facebook newsfeeds.

Witnesses confirmed
that building remained intact,
as the pastor of the
now-Pentecostal congregation
vowed to rebuild
and thanked God
that its usual
Saturday-morning meeting
had been canceled.

Thus, many lives were saved
By Covid-19.

One thought on “Just Another Covid-19 Saturday (My Coronavirus Diaries, Installment #6)

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