After my long dry spell with no writing, this poem has come.
Johns Hopkins Covid 19 Map
What was your name, number ninety-nine thousand, two hundred ten?
Was it Akmed or Mustafa?
Mike or Chunhua? Did your friends
call you Anna Maria or George?
Were you mother-blessed “Emma”
or street-baptized Blade?
Were you scared as you died in the hallway
alone on a gurney? You lay invisible
among too many to treat,
too many to save.
Or on a ventilator did you still pass?
Anxious and drawn, angel faces
hovered in masks, bodies gowned.
Did they check blood levels,
monitor blipping sounds?
Did you hear the beeping stop?
Did you slip away in your room
at home, your family afraid to touch,
to kiss, to hold your trembling hand?
Could you not catch the butterflies
Of fleeing breath?
Were you unnamed?
Only a number on admittance,
was the street your home?
Did you end up with tag on toe,
body bag, unknown, unmourned?
You, number ninety-nine thousand, two hundred ten,
you’re lost to me here in tallies of countries and states.
You left behind toys or a car,
unpaid bills. Stories, perhaps, of you in a war.
Most important, dear human, did you know
that you were loved?
Were you loved? Oh, please,
say that you were you loved
before Corona took your name.