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May 8, 2020

The Quarantine Chronicles, Day 24

DAY 24: Self-preservation / self-
mutilation, we swing baby
swing low, to and fro
there's a wartime firing squad
outside the front door, I'm sure
it's there, my wife, thin frail
so beautiful in a cotton dress,
cannot stand to be
caged, to feel hunger and
sleep-deprivation, to hear
babies cry, she cannot calm
them, she is hysterical, throwing
objects, which she says helps, it doesn't
help, we wouldn't have a plate
if we had food.
-- I can't take it anymore!
-- no, don't, you'll be killed,
I can't lose you too but
because free will and mercy prevail
she runs screaming out the door into
a shower of bullets, falls
and covers the pavement with
the woman I love
mother to my children
I couldn't stop her
I tried, she wouldn't listen
-- go out, I said, and you die
-- I don't care, she said, I can't
take another minute of this.
now what?
do I run out too?
can I mourn here in the dark stall?
am I glad to be alive?
swing, baby, swing.