Facing the Corona Virus

By Veronica Aaronson

What isn’t true is that if you are part of an armada,
a fleet or a flotilla, you won’t have to do this journey alone.

What isn’t true is that everyone’s navigation skills are up
to the ride and that someone somewhere has a map.

What isn’t true is that all boats have been well maintained
and carry rafts, life jackets with whistles on board.

What isn’t true is that the doldrums will only last for few weeks
and that severe storms are always tameable.

What isn’t true is that the uncertainty of being alone at sea
for months on end with no sight of land is easy.

What isn’t true is that if you pretend there is no sea to cross,
you won’t have to make the journey.

What is true is that not all of us will make it to the shore.

Veronica Aaronson

Veronica Aaronson’s first collection Nothing About the Birds is Ordinary this Morning was put forward for the Laurel Prize.  Emily’s Mothers will be published in December by Dempsey and Windle.

This poem rolled out of me one evening in a quiet moment during the first few weeks of lockdown at a time when none of us knew the full impact of the virus and the death toll was rising daily.  It came from a place of deep anxiety, but facing the fear took away some of its teeth.

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Hélène Demetriades
Hélène Demetriades
1 year ago

Love this Veronica!

Rebecca Gethin
1 year ago

Really vivid and gutsy.

Moira Garland
1 year ago
Reply to  Rebecca Gethin

Yes, agree. Sea voyages a good metaphor, with hazards built in.

1 year ago

Brilliant-I love this.

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