In the Time of COVID

by Steve Higgins, Cold Mountain Internal Arts, Kitchener Ontario

No schools flighting quick 

from one silvery threat to the next

or starlings’ shoals against wires and skies

but solitary outliers, pairs at the most

navigating their way in careful

circles and ellipses across

the park’s green expanse.

Street encounters are more linear, a careful

sizing up and negotiation over who goes first?

But the young in their neglect

are the greater threat. Like the young

woman who rushed past us on the foot bridge

waving her hand in a peace sign

as if that would do some good.

The wood in which we find ourselves

harbours strange beasts, invisible

enemies of intimacy, transforming 

companionship into something strange. 

This capricious death seems

designed for the old, but the young die too.

It is a familiar friend. 

Flu and pneumonia carry off thousands

every year and we are not surprised.

Sunlight shines, condos rise

The economics of necessity

accepts the deaths of generations

as we all do.