light snow descends over the city,
and for the first time since
the quarantine began, I feel I could die.
Robert Frost debated whether the world
would end in fire or ice,
T. S. Eliot, with a bang or a whimper,
I’m thinking by virus,
enemy unseen by the naked eye.
Are we are living, The Decameron,
and telling tales to pass the last days?
Living Poe’s, Red Death, frantically dancing
in a final, desperate burst of life?
Perhaps it’s time to read, The Wife of Bath’s Tale,
or other tales of knights assailed by death.
Or is it time to throw in the towel,
and in Prufrockian fashion dig our graves
with a garden trowel?
The writers of the world have long pondered
the end of man, but considering our present travail,
I side with William Faulkner, and believe that
“…man will not merely endure: he will prevail.”
Mike Aleman grew up in a Mexican-American household of readers. His father read Spanish and English, his mother only English. They spent many happy and fulfilling summer hours at the library and its park-like surroundings. He became an English teacher, taught lit and writing for 30 years, and had a grand time. Now retired, he writes at will, and read stories, novels and poetry over KPBX, Spokane Public Radio.