By Patrick Connors
Things that I Know
2020. The year of Covid-19.
That’s how this will be remembered.
In twenty years or one hundred
after the next plague or disaster strikes.
In history books and documentaries
in Google searches and think tanks.
They will have the numbers of those who fell ill
bar graphs to tell how many of us died.
I will not be a statistic.
I will not be recalled as an item of data.
I have many things I need to accomplish
some of them important, I assure you.
But right now, they are all on hold
while I choose to stay inside.
When this siege ends
I know I will emerge with a greater vision.
I will be stronger and more capable
because waiting is not a passive exercise.
I will be clearer about my priorities.
I will live my life with more integrity.
I know one day I will see my friends
and be able to hug them.
I know I will be at peace
with all who are dear to my heart.
I do believe it will get better
if we keep the flame of hope alive.
I know we are fighting other plagues
which undermine the best we can be.
I pray there will be legal justice
for the hate crimes being committed.
I know I will strive for social justice
especially when they say it’s impossible.
I know there are some who do not wish
the world as I see it to be fulfilled.
I know I will change the minds
of one or two if I continue to try.
I know I will build up a community
of like-minded people; even if some won’t like me.
I know that if we serve one another
we will serve the higher purpose.
I know we can beat the bastards
who want to divide and break us.
I know we can rewrite history
if only we have the courage.
I know that biblical-level pestilence
made me finally write this poem.
I believe we can be better when this ends.
I know I will be glad when it ends.
I have felt very isolated and disconnected during the pandemic, like there is a lot of unfinished business to be attended to. I have read more widely this year than ever before, because I am interested in what other writers have to say, or have said, whether it’s Denise Levertov or Margaret Atwood, or Stuart Whomsley or Bob MacKenzie. Poetry is Community!