Plague Sonnet I
In a Time of Pestilence
My thin long arms stretch wide, the distance friends
and strangers, cousins too, must keep away
if we're to stay alive, so when it ends -
they're not sure how, but think it must, one day -
we'll all of us (those left, that is) come close
again, much closer than before, and find
a world much kindlier than we supposed,
and might have seen had doubt not made us blind.
But, for now, I'll wrap my arms around you
and halfway round myself, take you to bed
and huddle there, however long the curfew
lasts, hope to keep at bay what lies ahead.
Yet if it comes, to catch us arm in arm,
let's pray it wants us both and halves the harm.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Derek Healy would be pleased to hear them.