Wary of the covert threat
of a virus that is without a country,
I wait patiently in my Clorox-ed car
to pick up this week’s groceries.
A woman I know is leaving the store,
unmasked, so I can see her laughing
face as she passes through families
who are triumphantly entering.
As she gets in her nearby truck,
I read her red-and-blue bumper sticker:
Pray for Our Troops
Especially Our Snipers.
I conjure images of her son,
a proud uniformed enemy killer,
and her rifle-carrying husband
on TV protesting COVID orders.
A poem by Irish poet Eavan Boland
remembers the pain of familiar news
of snipers at dawn—those rooftop sons
of Dublin mothers who waited at home.
As if a personal response to our troubles,
Boland died this week. I search her words
for wisdom or solace, find only more questions,
shelter at home, wonder who will be next.
by Anne McCrady