Changing place with the Corona

By Tali Cohen Shabtai

I have been around enough
And it’s

The total
Is Okay
Even better than

Is much more than okay

“Now you will be I
I will be you”

It’s possible to close
Door now.

Tali Cohen Shabtai, is a poet, she was born in Jerusalem, Israel.

Tali has written three poetry books:” Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick”, (bilingual 2007), “Protest” (bilingual 2012) and “Nine Years  From You” (2018).

 By 2020, her fourth book of poetry will be published.

I wrote this poem during the first lockdown due to the epidemic. As an appeal made in the first person singular to the epidemic. The poem includes a veiled dialogue between me and the epidemic. I use the dimension of time and quantity until complete dedication the tardiness and finding myself in the dimension of time is according to the poem is more than enough and sufficient in any quantity it is mentioned in the poem. There is a turn when my dimension of time and quantity change places with that of the epidemic:

On the appearance of the apostrophes: In it. I pose to the epidemic that has become declaratively humanized: “Now, you be me, and I’ll be you!” That is, now it’s your turn to be on the other side of the barricade: in a lesser quantity and for a shorter time until “the door can be closed,” thus ending the “show,” that is, the existence of the Corona epidemic. Because if you exchange places with me, the rationale says, you will acquire the aspirations of flesh and blood, which is not an exalted and supreme power that takes control of human beings, and I thereby soften the epidemic’s strength.

The poem was written not only as an appeal, rather also as my plea that the epidemic be for borrowed time until it is immediately eliminated. I use mentions of the word “okay” on one hand to express compassion to the epidemic while on the other hand to calm it and maybe with a spark of flattery from me to it when I tell it “you’ve been here enough, it’s okay – you don’t have to make an effort to receive more and more recognition from living souls.

The poem was written during the first lockdown and it should be noted that that epidemic in the poem takes the form of a human being perhaps because I wanted to soften it and not to glorify it as a supreme power that does not exist in humankind. The message: Corona you’ve been enough in every situation, now go. Here speaks the worry and great fear that it will stay.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

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.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x