Coronavirus Challenge and Response

Like everyone else, I try to make sense of our new coronavirus-imposed reality. I am a visual learner; so I have to see my thoughts physically represented on paper. Since I can’t sketch or draw, or do all those things talented people can do, I use the words of the languages I know to represent my thoughts. And what better way to do that, and to capture the vibes of the times as I feel them, than through poetry.

I will let the poems speak for themselves.

I am Corona Virus!
#COVID-19. Like my avatars,
Calling for the first and repeated time.
Bane of your steep learning curve, I come
The worst to bring out in you, and the best, too.

In vain you strain to keep me at bay,
My sibling strains in zillions you smite.
Minions of my global empire!
You cannot beat what you do not know.
So learn to live with me, and each other.

Corona virus I am!
This time and the next, ageless, though I die.
A crown of spikes around your head,
Reminder of your humanity
And my invincibility.

As ye move six feet apart, or farther,
I bid you Godspeed, and make my retreat.
‘Cos he who fights and sneaks away,
Comes back to fight another day.

You globetrotting agent of agony and gloom,
We know you from the relics of your bygone selves.
True, we think ourselves masters of the universe
And have rent our garment of mutuality.
But must we weep over spent chances?

Coming and going these repeated seasons,
Do think about the children with yet a life to live,
The ripe and the immunocompromised,
The young and brave, though not always sage,
And the multitude of in-betweens, restless.

In spite of your songs of pride
In spite of the dirges in our desolate communities
We will survive!
Phoenix-like, we will rise again.
Deep in our genes proudly stands
The fortress built by our ancestors
Who died so we may live and let live.

So as you strut about scattering us to the winds,
Remember this: The arc of our learning curve may be steep;
Yet it ultimately bends towards victory.

M’Bha Kamara is the pen name for Mohamed Kamara who teaches at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia.