Passover in Plague Time – a poem by Wayne-Daniel Berard

Passover in Plague Time

So this is how it felt
to have it all turn
against you to be
blamed in the burning
choking recesses of
each breath for decisions
by untouchable powers to
watch the river of your
everyday turn red your days
turn nights your very sky
fill with swarms of deadly
devouring tininesses your
massive milieu could not
fend off was this how it felt
when no safe distance
could save first born elders
and silly unschooled children
who gathered regardless
what was the hieroglyph for
“death count?” a human with
no animal head as every beast
had quit us in joyous liberation?
did the symbol rise and widen
grow and dominate until
everything infected everything
with enslavement to remoteness and
collapse? if we were all there back at
sinai then we were all there in giza
and luxor did we say “no, nameless one,
not this! egypt loves its children too
their grandparents are not pharaoh let
our liberation not be bought with plague?”

.

Wayne-Daniel Berard, PhD, teaches Humanities at Nichols College, Dudley, MA. He publishes broadly in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. His novella, Everything We Want, was published in 2018 by Bloodstone Press. A poetry collection, The Realm of Blessing, will be published in 2020 by Unsolicited Press.

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