Shelly Reed Thieman – Every Distant Siren – Pandemic

Every Distant Siren
by Shelly Reed Thieman

It is Easter Sunday minus
sunrise service, patent leather
shoes, lilies and alleluias, green
plastic grass, hollow chocolate
rabbits, jellybeans and Peeps.

There’s no ham or hot cross
buns or potatoes grand mere,
no arguments at over-crowded
family dinner tables, no restaurants
with all-you-can-eat buffets.

Every distant siren I hear conjures
an image of someone sopping
like a sponge with fever, gasping
for precious air, EMTs without
adequate PPE, a spouse, sister
or parent left behind at home
fallen to their shaking knees in anguish
and prayer, even the non-believers.

Some survive, many succumb
and some even call it a hoax.
Some find God today, some scream
like beasts and beat their breasts
at him. Some say we should speak
respectfully to the virus, extend
our thanks for what it taught us,
invite it to leave and assure it 

we are better humans because of it.


Shelly Reed Thieman is afraid. Afraid of dying, afraid to live. She feels deep responsibility for sharing the beautiful and burlesque range of human experience through poetry and writes to connect with the wounded in their myriad and evolving stages of damage.