Two Poems

By James Hall


holding on
freedom a dream
sans vaccine
first snow
first steps
from Prentice,
where angels do
not exist where
we float through
and heal
holding on

This poem was inspired after a telemedicine visit with an elderly patient who had not left her apartment in almost a year and longed for covid immunization and freedom.

Pandemic’s Box

“I will give men as the price for fire,
an evil thing, so they may all be glad
of heart, embracing their own destruction.” Hesiod

Prometheus deceived the gods
by gifting humans fire
many wonders would be wrought
if they could only stand the heat.

The gods hide the essence of life.
Anthropocene, the age of man
and fire began, seas warmed shift
ing climate as the earth burned.

Then crafty Zeus gathered evil
clouds and mischief in a jar,
which the aegis-masked trickster
endowed into Pandora.

Opening this box without
malice, the voice of human
kind with her thoughts released
sickness, strife, and hate.

Pandora slammed the lid shut
to late, only hope remained.
Disease spread by day and night
locking down the land in sorrow.

Wholesome strife can stir hard work
to rid pandemic from the earth,
while mortal insolence delights
in hope, the plague of human hubris.

This poem speculates on response to COVID. Could the Hope be a plague itself, if hope of immunization curing the pandemic, and dropping social distancing and masking to soon leads to a new wave of mutant strains of the virus.

James Hall is a writer, artist and internal medicine physician practicing in Chicago, USA with interests in cider craft, cross country skiing and mythology, who has published his grandparents epistolary love story Good Night Sweetheart, Goodnight, and recently completed his manuscript for debut novel Canticle of Dreams.

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