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So Much For Hope

In the honeymoon phase, we quote Julian of Norwich—
rather, misquote her, because it was God
who said to her, “All shall be well…”
And when she asked, “How?” God
Never mind, just trust me.

We tell our friends all shall be well.
We tell them also, and they tell us,
this too shall pass. And we swap
up-lifting poetry that we say sustains us
in difficult times, our messages
steeped in the healing tea of love.

News mutates like the virus,
shedding everywhere the unverifiable,
increasingly feverish, never dead.
Impossible to grasp. Likely to be.
Historic spikes. Partisan riots.
Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands.

Millions. The honeymoon cracks. Love,
naked, pocked, takes a shit with the door open,
wipes with an axiom. We are
not all in this together.
Whipped on by profiteers, sacred rifles charged,
neighbors toss the mask, march out. Authority
has their backs. Fear wears the mask of fury.

Everywhere, the streets run with chaos.
None of this is how we expected our lives to be.
We can’t return to how it was.
No traditions teach us how to forge ahead.
There is no reliable predictor of anything.
I only hope I shall hug you again before we die.

Alice Campbell Romano has lived and worked in Rome, Los Angeles,
and New York. Alice's reviews, fiction and poems appear in
Mom Egg
, Concise Delight, Sage Review, Westwood Press, Minerva
, Dreamers Writing, and more.  Recent poetry acceptances are
Atlanta Review (finalist, International Poetry Competition), Mudfish
, Thema, Antiphon, Work Literary Magazine, and Front Porch
. A novel is completed, ABR—all but revision. No time is no
excuse now.

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Previously published in
Eleventh Transmission:
"When This Pandemic Ends" by Yi Won Tang.

Published June 29, 2020

45 Poems of Protest: The Pandemic

So Much For Hope

by Alice Campbell Romano
(Los Angeles, California, USA)
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Eleventh Transmission - "So Much For Hope" by Alice Campbell Romano
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45 Poems of Protest: The Pandemic - - image shows pills arranged to spell, 'COVID-19'.