When I wrote “In the Spring of Fever,” I hoped that one season would do it. Alas. This poem came to me out of the weird congruence between such a beautiful summer and the grinding fear and anxiety of a pandemic that shows no sign of abating.
In the Summer of Fever
Day after day flotillas of cumulus fly
through bright skies. Rain falls scant
and brief, barely wetting the ground
before the sun breaks through again.
How to reconcile such splendor, all
this shining, with the weight of worry
like the smoke of distant forest fire
hanging day and night upon the air.
Masked children huddle close to moms
and dads in the store. Silent people wait
for takeout the regulation six feet apart
rocking on their heels with arms crossed.
How can the sky be all a-riot with sunset
while my heart fills with lights and sirens?
It twists up the brain like fever dreams.
How can the dying be only just begun?
No one will speak of it. Will it be me?
Will it be worse than me? Don’t ask.
Unload the groceries and cook the dinner.
Do the next thing, then try to go to sleep.