2020

Orange is the new Black, or so I’ve been told Brioni replaced Hartmarx and the world’s blood ran cold Real news is no longer the rage

now that fashion has come to an end Let’s blame it on Russia, better yet Murder Hornets,

who interrupted us Making America Great Again.

Superpowers clashed when China exported more than just computers Italy cried aloud, giving warning to travelers and commuters How can little Wuhan, much less an entire country

who can’t pollinate trees for lack of honey bees Cultivate gardens produced by labs teaming with infectious disease?

Have you read the headlines today?

You might want to wash your hands, and don’t touch your face.

Charmin is on backorder, hand sanitizer nowhere to be found Life has come to a standstill and all the clocks unwound Working remote in the chaos that is the safety of my home I don’t bother calling out for help, no one will answer the phone.

They say there is hope, since fashion has rebound

our images have been saved!

Every man, woman and child has a face mask

in various patterns, in every shade So we have to wear face masks any time that we’re away?

Public shaming and the CDC seem to think so.

But must I wear it every day?

Have you watched the news today?

Did you wash your hands? Did you touch your face?

Progress along the arrows in the grocery store,

keeping to them like the yellow brick road Maybe Oz will hold the answers, but only via Zoom

against a tacky background of emeralds and gold Social distance by at least six feet

even when someone visits you at home With gatherings of no more than ten

this holiday season you may very well be alone.

Even the bars are closed, streets are empty

no one is cheering in the stands

Everyone is on lockdown, sheltering in place

captive in their native homelands The flu has all but disappeared

vanished from media, no longer a scare Pollution is at a record low, but don’t rejoice,

those statistics don’t count when you can’t go anywhere.

Did you hear the Governor’s report?

You really must wash your hands and try very hard not to touch your face.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, death travels on the wind The world as we all know it has come to a bitter end Loss of family, co-workers, neighbors, acquaintances and friends There is no stimulus check that can buy any of them back again Some of them were doomed to die alone, no relatives allowed to go in Just the droning of the respirator, the blip of their heartbeat,

the voice of the nurse holding their hand who cared for them.

Did you read the obituaries today?

Go wash your hands. Don’t touch your face.