After the text is a video with me reading the poem, followed by comments from poet Beth Weinstock. We met on May 31 for a Poetry Circle during which we read poems — finished and unfinished — to the other and then comment with encouragement and criticism.

Here is the entire Poetry Circle:  Want to attend an upcoming Poetry Circle? Register here:
(Note: Due to the intentional design of the Poetry Circle, you will be muted throughout the conversation among the pre-selected poets. There will be no opportunity for you to be audible.)

The Next Pandemic

The next pandemic
will require the transfer of droplets
but not like this one.

To survive
the next pandemic
we will need to congregate
in tight spaces
with poor ventilation
or in swimming pools,
frolicking beside people
we’ve only just met
who have come from far away
where they live with people we don’t know.

The next pandemic
will have different symptoms:
neither achy nor breath-taking,
but rather a depth of breath
with each serving as a meditation.
The symptomatic
will feel so good,
as if six years younger.

Folks who isolate
will be at great risk.
The Governor will order us
into saloons and salons
and Dr. Acton still won’t be afraid.
She will just be concerned
and ask, implore, beg
that we please — because we can! —
get close enough to one another.