Spring breaks open in eastern Kansas.
In New York they’re loading bodies in refrigerated trailers.
At my corner forsythia stretches yellow arms.
Everywhere draped and masked medics adjust ventilators.
I tread past dandelions glinting gold from tender grass.
Stores shutter; the unemployed stand in line for food.
A star magnolia trembles in a damp breeze.
Fellow walkers move to the middle of the street.
In New York TV cameras pan mass graves—
From an oak a robin sings its rain song.
Phyllis Galley Westover’s writing has appeared in magazines, newspapers and three anthologies. She received Boulevard’s Short Fiction Award and was a finalist for the Iowa Award in Literary Nonfiction. Her children’s book, Sold to the Highest Bidder, is available on Amazon. Two documentary films she wrote appeared on public television.
May Editor Maril Crabtree’s book Fireflies in the Gathering Dark was named a Kansas Notable Book for 2017.