by Margaret Ruckert
To make sense is daily labour … why, why did I do X why, why did U do Y and they, them, the others why did they do the rest of the alphabet. This poem is looking for the light of reason with a low battery. ---------------------------- don’t say pandem … decision in hindsight it’s understandable why an organisation would signal ‘epidemic’ while the science of a virus is still young it’s like testing the waters with an unwilling toe rather than plunging in unaware of a swarm of sea-stingers ready to kill at random the ‘epidemic’ word is mildly worrisome we’re alerted from routine like an orange light get ready to stop wait this is serious in the health of society words circulate like disease mention of the blockbuster word pandemic releases the infectious cold of pandemonium … a horror of movie proportions the thumping bass line of a migraine the latest apocalypse utter terror the indescribable described in isolation thinking through fear it was meanings and their words that intrigued us that floated optimism or swamped us and now July numbers start swamping again we ride another tsunami forget to look back
Margaret Owen Ruckert B Sc M Ed gained third place in the Society of Women Writers 2019 National Writing Competition – Poetry, having won in 2007. Her book musefood won the 2012 IP Poetry Book of the Year. Her tanka appear in international journals. Following a science and education career, she now facilitates the Hurstville Discovery Writers.