This is the season of dried rushes
and sodden leaf-matter in parks,
when the lightly furred animal bodies
of the people break out in sores
and a mild but insistent contagion
blooms in the chilly dampness.
The lowered sun does not yet warm them,
despite cerulean skies.
The meat-headed race trundles along
in groups, God love them, and their
comforts—blood ties and a stiff Scotch—
suffice somewhat or else not at all.
From a far country comes news
of the current crisis, about which little
is known. Its distant horrors
are rehearsed for a few still listening.
A woman in a shop says, “Maybe
tomorrow,” and the eyes of the burghers
streaming across midtown intersections
brighten a moment, then dim.
Others flee on vacation
to a place where they might clear their minds
and hatch a few plans for the future, while
waiting for the weather to improve.