Off-Season, Forever

By Leah Mueller

If I drive all night
I might reach water,

but only if I
keep my lead foot
pressed against
the accelerator
to reverse time.

Whitecaps remain
in their usual places,
oblivious to constraint.

Heavy chains
above the sand
bear metal black
and white signs.

Beach closed
until further notice.

Fish and gulls
laugh at what
passes for progress
in the deranged
human kingdom.

Even a toe
in the water carries
a heavy price:
stiff fine, or worse.

I stand alone
on the shoreline,
awaiting a signal
for safe re-entry:

but all the lifeguards
have left the beach empty
and returned to their homes
for eternal vacations.

Leah Mueller, Poetry and Covid

Leah Mueller is an indie writer and spoken word performer from Bisbee, Arizona.  Her most recent books, “Misguided Behavior, Tales of Poor Life Choices” (Czykmate Press), “Death and Heartbreak” (Weasel Press), and “Cocktails at Denny’s” (Alien Buddha) were released in 2019. Leah’s work appears in Midway Journal, Citron Review, The Spectacle, Miracle Monocle, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, and elsewhere. Her essay “Firebrand, The Radical Life and Times of Annie Besant” appears in the book, “Fierce, Essays By and About Dauntless Women” which placed first in the non-fiction division of the 2019 Publisher’s Weekly Booklife contest.

I wrote the poem because I was feeling such despair about beaches being closed to the public. I find solace at and in the water and can’t imagine why the beach would be considered dangerous. Of course, everything is dangerous now. This pandemic sucks and I wonder when–or if–it will ever end.

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Susmita Paul
3 years ago

What a magnificent set of images that drown the reader!

Poetry and Covid-19 ARCHIVE (This website archives the over 1000 poems submitted by over 600 poets, and viewed by over 100,000 from over 125 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, June 2020-June 2021). Thank you to all who took part in the Poetry and Covid project.

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