The Apocalypse

Rassouli

This is the apocalypse
A daffodil has poked its head up
from the dirt and opened
sunny arms to bluer skies
yet I am filled with
dark and anxious dread
as theaters close as travel ends and
grocery stores display their empty rows
where toilet paper liquid bleach
and bags of flour stood in upright ranks.

My stomach twists and fingers shake
as I prepare to work the battleground
the place I’ve always loved and felt at home
is now a field of droplets sprayed across a room
or lurking on a handle or a sink to find their way
inside our trusting hands or mouths or eyes
the ones that touch you when you’re sick
speak soothing words and seek the answer to your pain.

This is the apocalypse
as spring begins again
and brightly colored flowers
deploy in my back yard
the neighbors walk their dogs
and march along the quiet streets
I stretch my purple gloves on steady hands
I tie my yellow gown behind my back
my hair inside a blue bouffant
my mouth and nose and eyes are
still and calm inside their waiting shields.
This is the apocalypse.

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell

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