Two Poems

By Grace Massey

Covid Party

Let’s throw a party! No masks
allowed. Please cough
into the salad, sneeze
into the ice cream, kiss strangers,
on both cheeks. Lap
up the virus. Whoever gets sickest
wins two tickets to Hamilton,
pays off college loans,
gets the worm
from the tequila bottle.

Who’s in charge of decorations?
A piñata that cracks open to spew germs,
(no candy), skull and crossbones theme for plates
and party hats? Strawberry virus gateau?
Whoever wins the door prize
takes home a bottle of bleach.

This party is not
how many goldfish you can swallow,
how many people you can fit in a Volkswagen.
It’s not short sheeting,
running naked through campus,
one more Jello shot and home.

This is walking the trestle
as you feel vibrations tickle
your feet, hearing the whistle
approach, thinking you can hold on
with your fingertips above the
writhing water until the train passes.


mine is not Zorro’s–
black sash with eye holes
suave above his perfect mustache.

it’s not my father’s gummy latex mask–
bulbous nose, red eyes,
worn with a whiskey barrel
held up with straps over his shoulders,
third prize one Halloween

not a masque gently
exfoliating, paired with cucumber
slices. No singing, dancing,
no music with this Masque.
No papier-mâché, feathers,

not Tut’s golden mask
atop the mummy’s rotted linen
nor a death mask—Keats,
Mary Queen of Scots, pasty,
ashen, eyeless

not plucked from a box
as though I’m just nipping
out after my surgical shift
not showing off dancing cats,
French poodles, tasteful paisley

my mask is plain black
pulled tight below startled
weary eyes

Grace lives in Newton, Massachusetts. She has been an English teacher and editor. Her poetry has appeared in Soul-Lit, Spry, and The Ekphrastic Review, among others. She is an avid ballet student, gardener, and cat lover. She believes that writing and reading poetry is one of our best coping strategies for surviving the frustration, isolation,
anxiety, and uncertainty of these strange times

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Patricia Peterson
Patricia Peterson
2 years ago

Good ideal

Patricia Peterson
Patricia Peterson
2 years ago

Brilliant .

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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