Jul/Aug 2020  •   Poetry

Tonight, I bid them all a crowned farewell (4/17/2020)

by Diane Sahms

Tonight, I bid them all a crowned farewell (4/17/2020)

Song of April's robin perched
at the end of my eye.

Having turned down the volume
of a workweek mind, tunneling

through the endless news
of Coronavirus madness.

Fatal lightning striking all over
our planet, corkscrew fear.

Swirling maelstrom, as I walk
evening through deserted

streets of Northeast Philly,
houses silent as tombstones.

I sink inside stillness
of another Friday night.

Ferris wheel of space turns.
Carousel of earth slowly spins.

Around the globe, wildlife
reportedly entering cities: deer

& sheep appear in places
never seen before, even

a puma spotted, & elephants
entering villages in India.

But here in my muted city:
stoppage of traffic, shelter-in-

place, social distancing,
face masks & gloves.

Everyone eyeingly suspicious
of each other. Here, hissed

slowed sounds, as I pine
for what it used to be.

Memories of a different
time & place, when we

took life for granted.
Now a hush of voices, quiet

outside my Longshore home.
Draped coffin bell night

& so many here sick
& dying in my city

state, country, worldwide.
Numbers staggering

& ballooning higher
as lively bubbles float

to the top of my ginger ale
glass, to try & settle

a sickened stomach.
Empty night filled by sirens

& all the stars' sleepless
eyes staring upside down.

Numerous humans never
having the chance to say

good-bye to loved ones.
Tonight, I bid them all

a crowned farewell.
Like the return cluster

of Monarchs flying home—
fluttering flashes of golden

orange light—restful now
after a long, suffering flight.