Life in the Time of Corona Detail for W Florida Literary Federation

Life in The Time of Corona BG

Ghost of COVID-19

Ghost of COVID-19

Katherine Nelson-Born

I thought my house haunted once,
heavy sighs on a winter’s night
waking me. Now, the death count
rises like waters lapping up land.
Smell of bleach assaults my senses daily.
I cannot touch myself—or you—
my love an infection.
Singed by spring sunshine,
my face burns above
the mask that does not stop
the march of COVID-19.

New ghosts appear in the moon’s glow,
angry moans drifting across the breeze--
“And still you worship at the altar of greed.”

A shroud replaces the mask.
I did not save you from the virus let loose
in vanished jungles, set free
to cross overheated seas,
infecting millions more.

Like Lady Macbeth,
I cannot wash my hands enough
to cleanse my house of its specters.
At midnight’s chime, tortured spirits
lean in. Pinpricked,
my fingertip blooms too late
the antibodies that could have saved you.

Life in the Time of Corona

Within weeks after March 11, 2020 World Health Organization’s declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, West Florida Literary Federation offered its writers a catharsis. By April, regional writers were submitting words and images to preserve this time in history. The ongoing project began with Phase I, a special edition of The Legend published in May. It featured more than thirty juried submissions. Life in the Time of Corona continues with Phase II, updated as submissions are accepted. Here are the voices of health care workers, poets, essayists, historians, and the images of artists and photographers, documenting this time in Northwest Florida's history. The ongoing project ends with the advent of a vaccine or declaration by the World Health Organization.

WFLF thanks its generous “You: The Writer" Foo Foo Festival Partners:

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