In the Year of the Disease
By Phyllis Klein
after reading Joy Harjo's poem "Grace"
there was nothing more to lose until
there was. It was one thing after another,
the spring we hardly could notice
although it went on without a second thought.
It was the fabric of the human world unraveled.
No haircuts, no friends around the table,
no doctor visits. It was going to work, buying,
selling, all lost, or morphed into sitting
in front of our machines of connection.
It was grace, had we lost her or did she watch
from her balcony as the world pitched
into a chasm of mystery and gloom? Was she
a woman, or had she shapeshifted into a dream?
A tulip or a violet open in the sun? Some
of us knew they could find her, knew the places
she liked to hang out, while others kept trying
for a glimpse, like looking for someone
or something that had died. But she hadn't.
She might have been obscured in grief,
as she could pick it up on the wind, in the sun
or stars. She might have been angry,
and had to hide with the flowers she crushed
in her fists. Maybe she was too tired
or heartsick herself for a time.
Maybe she was lost somewhere until
she could find her way. The way. The way
back from a disaster.
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