By Marilyn Longstaff
Before the crisis, the bottomless chasm of lockdown, locked up, locked in,
before catching on, at 70, that you were elderly, frail, at risk, before it clicked
that your immune system got weaker with age (well you should’ve known,
it’s biology), before Coronavirus kept on shortening its name,
to Covid 19, then its current moniker, Covid, which you thought
had something to do with crows (what a difference an ‘r’ makes –
the R number, what the hell is that?). And like cancer, will it reduce
again to ‘C’ as it carries on with its maiming and killing spree?
Were we ever alive BC? And if it ends, how will we survive AD,
now that everything has gone into reverse?
Marilyn Longstaff is a member of Vane Women. Her poetry books are: Puritan Games, Sitting among the Hoppers, Raiment, Articles of War (2017) and The Museum of Spare Parts (2018).
2020 – ah yes, I’ve hit 70 – what a year. I’ve written quite a few ‘covid’ poems during this period and had a few published. This poem, ‘After Divoc’ came from a discourse with a friend who was musing on BC being Before Computers and AD being After Divoc. In my poem there’s a lot of BC’s before we get to After Divoc. I have found it helpful to both write and read poetry exploring the experience of living through (and for some of my family and friends, being ill with, and in one case, dying) this unsettling time.