3 Poems | Pandemic Advice | Strange Spring | Stay-at-Home
By Vivian Wagner
Pandemic Advice Buddha knocked on my door this morning and from a safe distance told me not to worry. “We have nothing to start with, so nothing to lose,” he said, miming a hug before turning away and disappearing down an empty street. * Strange Spring The cherry tree’s heavy with blooms, bending under the weight of its blessings toward a forgiving earth, while grackles, scratching a roof, chuckle about the unseen abundance of air. I’d like to remember what it was like before everything turned upside-down, but instead must admire what my eyes insist on righting. * Stay-at-Home We adhere to the moment, affix ourselves to desks and screens, anchor our days to tree roots stretching beneath houses, attach ourselves to faith. The order’s binding, shot through with the power of a legal bolt, and we feel the surety of this bond, braced against its wording, caught in its grip. Society starts to cohere and connect, coupling impulse with rule, glued by fear and hitched by a hold on the future. As a hook finds the soft inner flesh of a fish’s cheek, so sickness latches onto our hearts, our lungs, uniting us through our cells’ walls.
Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she’s an associate professor of English at Muskingum University. Her work has appeared in Slice Magazine, Muse/A Journal, Forage Poetry Journal, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Gone Lawn, The Atlantic, Narratively, The Ilanot Review, Silk Road Review, Zone 3, Bending Genres, and other publications. She’s the author of a memoir, Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music(Citadel-Kensington); a full-length poetry collection, Raising (Clare Songbirds Publishing House); and three poetry chapbooks: The Village (Aldrich Press-Kelsay Books), Making (Origami Poems Project), and Curiosities (Unsolicited Press).
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