Long Covid, and a Poem - "Respiratory"

It's Poetry Friday! Thank you to Tabatha Yeatts for hosting today. Head on over to The Opposite of Indifference for an awesome poem about pussy willows!


On the off chance you're wondering why I haven't been around much for the past 2.5 years, I am about to answer you. And then share a poem. I have had Long Covid since March 2020. I almost died, and the toll it has taken on me is immense. A doctor did some tests, and I now have scientific evidence that my brain was damaged because of Covid. I am healing, but slowly. So slowly.


So, you can imagine my dismay when I see in my community and the news that the majority of adults in this country are not interested in getting the new bivalent booster. The booster that specifically protects against the most common strains of Covid today. Having been fighting for my life the entire course of the pandemic... knowing so many who have died, and knowing that future deaths and disabilities are preventable but will happen anyhow because people refuse this vaccine... The grief is enormous.


So. Here is a poem I wrote on the one-year anniversary of getting Covid. Maybe, it will help someone remember why the vaccines are needed, and encourage them to get theirs. Maybe, it will provide some solace in shared grief if someone is feeling the way I am. Maybe. Personally, I think those maybes are worth the risk of sharing a poem I had never intended for more than a select few to see.


Please, get vaccinated. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Trust me--- you don't want this.


RESPIRATORY


This has been a year of

Lost breath

wheezing

through sentences

Lost breathing

loved ones and their loves

exhaled.

without end

and though we don’t, can’t see the

empty chairs where they should sit

except hers

hers, right there

the green blanket still folded over the arm

we feel

No ventilation

closed windows

shut doors

please, give us space from

Isolation’s ever-crowded mindscape

Non-stop connection

we have been desperate to connect and this

Virtual simulation of community

has been a lifeline

but will it endure

when we can

When can we breathe the same air?

I can’t wait to leave this

Fugue state of trauma

Too long

Locked up/down/in

thought spirals without end

without end

without end

Let us out

you without a mask

you are my new abuser

trapping me

without end

without end

WITHOUT END

Let me see what still breathes

we must ask (without end)

Who has stopped breathing?

the truth is I don’t know

if I will be one of those

Who will be left?

gasping.



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