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May 14, 2020

The Quarantine Chronicles, Day 30

DAY 30: Who, who out there, who
in here, in our apartment
building, of eighteen families, who
is having trouble eating, no nutrition 
in hot air and proclamations, after
losing a job or never having one,
who, who goes hungry today? The 
teachers and cops and retirees and 
doctors are okay, they get paid, poor people 
with an extended family are okay, they share,
it is the Eleanor Rigbys, the Father
McKenzies that sit alone with
the TV on and a bowl of pastina
in broth, before getting undressed
for bed at nine, their gray hair roots
showing, they say their prayers then
mid-morning they call both
their friends each day like clockwork
until they get: "I can't talk right
now. I'll call you back." When
the feverish wheezing starts they might
call a neighbor -- maybe us -- or an
ambulance, get a swab from a friendly 
physician, wait for the results in bed, days 
pass -- COVID DAYS -- wondering how they 
got the novel coronavirus if they never went out
except to the grocer and pharmacy.

Then they get hallucinations of life
on a farm, a beautiful child-
hood of play and adventure
that they never had, running
through fields of flowers, the
sweet smell overwhelming.