A Covid Triptych
by Nancy Baenziger
At first, I was but a whisper
coasting on the icy winter wind.
You heard, but you didn’t listen.
My friends, while you quarreled I
was waiting with my grinning
death’s head hid behind
You have dallied far too long
and here I am.
One time the timelines hung in space
poised and convergent
for how brief a passage till the
solar wind blew softly past
and drew back the curtain on chaos.
Shaken awake by the snake curled,
hissing, around the trunk
while grownups whispered a melisma
on the market price of apples
with grave faces.
So too each subsequent new
bright link in the chain of being gains
again, the resonance with overtones
unheard in the hermit’s cell.
The Garden gate stands ajar upon
a finite road
where sine waves pass in graceful arches
echoing in antiphon
the Lachrymae Pavane.
We were a patient people……
pardon me, a patient hominin.
Many hundred thousand years we lived
small in numbers, mostly in peace, coping with the cold
We knew and loved beauty, like you do, created it ourselves,
mourned our dead and sought for them
a safe passage.
We made progress, innovations;
everyone always wants to leave their stamp
on the world.
Loutish beetle-browed brutes?
Not so much.
Took you 52,000 years to figure that out.
So, our Y chromosome vanished, the male one,
but not the female one
and not the autosomes either.
Discouraged into oblivion?
You took our women.
You took them by force, figuring they were
there for the taking
in a four-letter word.
Down the march of history our nucleotides
have dispersed among the new ones.
And now the domain of the disinherited