“Gov ordered statewide lockdown until April 7. Nonessential biz’s to close physical operations. We are really in this now.”
—from a 3/23/2020 email from Paul Marion, writer and Loom Press founder
We Are Really In This Now
By Emily Ferrara
At Swamp Locks Dam on the downstream side
the Great Blue Heron shelters in the sluiceway
fishing calm in the churning.
In a concrete crevice, a dark-eyed junco
weaves her moss & rootlet nest
spurred by the deafening rush.
I cross the bridge to the basin side
where stagnancy belies the urgency.
A woman hauls a grocery cart down Dutton,
warned by The Sun & the barren American
Textile History Museum.
The famished rush for take-out downtown:
Fuji, Athenian, Brew’d Awakening,
Life Alive, Warp & Weft, Wings Over Lowell.
Snow begins to fly, its ample flakes
in free-fall dust the pall
& the heron, sated, settles in
as still unmoored I reconcile
Poet’s Note: I began this poem on the day before the Governor’s statewide stay-at-home advisory order and required closure of nonessential businesses’ physical operations went into effect. The next day, 3/24/20, The Lowell Sun reported: “COVID-19 cases in Lowell more than double overnight.” A week later, the Governor extended the stay-at-home advisory as well as the required closure of non-essential businesses through May 4. It seems each day brings new precautions, most recently a national recommendation to wear cloth face masks while in public, issued by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s number one infectious diseases expert. As Paul Marion said, “We are really in this now.”