Barbara Leeds > Samples > Pandemic Poems >

After the Sickness

April 2020
Barbara Leeds

No hum of machinery
No rumble of traffic
Not even the scream of an ambulance
Not any more

Millions had died, of course
Bodies piled in overflowing mortuaries
Open trenches
Or left to rot wherever they gasped their last breath
Unattended

For those who survived
Not a new world, exactly
But a world cleansed
Fertile, lovely
Birdsong was the first remarkable thing
Then the surprising percussion of squirrel claws clattering over branches
And the feathery breath of the breeze waving unmown grass
As the Earth sings its welcome
To this newly humbled race

Copyright 2020 Barbara Leeds


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