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Life in the Time of Corona

Death in the Time of Corona

Juliet DeMarko

Juliet DeMarko has lived in Pensacola forty-two years. She is a past Poet Laureate of Northwest Florida and West Florida Literary Federation board member. Juliet has published two memoir cookbooks and books of poetry. Her childhood in the Blue Ridge Mountains and life on the Gulf Coast inspire her work. Her husband, Michael, died during the pandemic.


Michael died alone tonight.

I told the Hospice nurse it was his time.

 She shook her head and sent me home

only to call me to come

right back.

Too late.

 I thanked God for His mercy.

It was the last night the staff

would have dared to slip me in,

the last time I could

 hold his hand,

kiss his cheek,

even though I was too late

and he had faced that ultimate darkness


A young black nurse,

who had always shown me kindness,

took my hand,

gently pulled me near the darkened bed.

                                                    and began to pray:                                          

“Our Father who art in heaven…” And then more softly,

“…Even though I walk through the Valley of the shadow of Death,

I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me…”


No beautiful flower and people-packed service

complete with eulogy and fond memories

at Christ Church downtown.

No military honors at Barrancas National Cemetery.

No flag-folding, no gun salute, no Taps,

nothing at all.

As it turned out.

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