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Corona Masks 50.jpg

Life in the Time of Corona

Earth Day, 2020

Claire Massey

Claire Massey is Poet Laureate for Pensacola Pen Women. She served on the editorial board of the Emerald Coast Review in 2019. In 2020, she has work appearing or forthcoming in Persimmon Tree, The Avalon Literary Review, The Dead Mule, and Panoply.

I roam woods nearly empty, detour to grow distance

when human voices intrude, entertain a childish notion

that Mother Nature has decided

I should not walk alone.

Is she a hobbled crone,

struggling to follow, scarred by her rages, weary from warring

for boundaries, balance?

No, not today. She’s agile, young, as she moves beside me,

keen hearing fine tuned,

scanning only for subtle, primal music. If she winces, head covered

against our wailings, who could blame her?

At trail’s end she pauses with hand upraised, urges


No jet engines whining, no Ditch Witches digging,

no ocean liners churning waves of white noise.

For the first time, in a long time,

she cocks a pearled, oyster shaped ear, smiles

like Mona Lisa.

Her firstborns are singing,

the whale, the sandhill crane,

the south wind surging, ebbing,

the undammed river,


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