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Death in the Time of Corona

Death in the Time of Corona

Julie DeMarko

Michael died alone tonight.
I told the Hospice nurse it was his time.
 She shook her head and sent me home
only to call me to come
right back.
Too late.

 I thanked God for His mercy.
It was the last night the staff
would have dared to slip me in,
the last time I could
 hold his hand,
kiss his cheek,
even though I was too late
and he had faced that ultimate darkness
Alone.

A young black nurse,
who had always shown me kindness,
took my hand,
gently pulled me near the darkened bed.
                                                                       and began to pray:                                          
“Our Father who art in heaven…” And then more softly,
“…Even though I walk through the Valley of the shadow of Death,
I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me…”
 
No beautiful flower and people-packed service
complete with eulogy and fond memories
at Christ Church downtown.
No military honors at Barrancas National Cemetery.
No flag-folding, no gun salute, no Taps,
nothing at all.
As it turned out.

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.

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