The lead Iditarod musher with 14 sled dogs halted for breakfast today in Ruby, Alaska. That’s big sports news since the NBA called time out, NASCAR stalled, March Madness yielded to sanity. Stadiums and cafes, pubs and shopping malls stand all but deserted. Churches stream Sunday worship performed before empty pews. No kids frolic in the park. Freezing rain drizzles on greening fescue and bowed heads of crocus. My street exudes the stillness of a tomb. In social-distance quarantine I recall an old movie in which the remnant of humankind— infected by nuclear fallout from World War III --expires Down Under. Our Cold War phobia was fueled by the final scene of ghost-town Melbourne with debris and a banner reading “There’s still time, Brother” adrift on an empty street. We feared we would end by H-bomb. Now we learn we could disappear with neither bang nor whimper.
Linda M. Lewis, professor emerita of Bethany College, earned a PhD in British literature and has published four books of literary criticism (University of Missouri Press). Her recent work, Ensemble (Spartan Press, 2019), is a collection of poems that celebrate woman’s experience and narrate female lives—both famous and infamous. This poem contained an allusion to The Sunday Tertulia, a novel by Lori Marie Carlson. This poem was originally published in The Sea Letter, October, 2018.
Guest Editor Morgan O.H. McCune currently works at Pittsburg State University in southeast Kansas. She is a native Kansan, and holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis (1991) and an M.L.S. from Emporia State University (2002). Her poems have been published previously in River Styx.