We Had Plans


We had plans for vacation trips and happy times.

We had plans for small get-togethers,

Dinner and conversation, laughter, admire the garden.

Life was hard, always hard, but convenient.

Like the store, the little neighborhood store

Was the "convenience" store.

God protect us from inconvenience.


But apparently not. 

We will not be protected from inconvenience.

High inconvenience is upon us.

A virus, a kind of particle, came from "somewhere"

To remind us that we are the main inconvenience

In the Natural World of the Organic Cooperative.

All the individuals and entangled groups that grow

Like moss on the rocky globe, the original theatre

Where we strut and boast and now flap like

A flounder on the dock of broken time.


It comes in flavors, like ice cream and cats,

From "not noticed" to "dead as a doornail."


That's the invader that eats our plans as though

Us and our plans are a Southwestern salad,

All beans and corn and self-important,

Dressed for our own celebrations of ourselves

And our power over the universe.

But now something invisible, as though we are

Our own ancient stinking apes who understood

Only that we could kill if we concentrated on

The project and set aside our selfish pride.

This visitor from reality is ruining the party,

Disables organs.

Headaches become the big headache of our

Inability to keep up.

This race with "disease" is the toughest,

As our opponent pounds ahead we are

Enveloped in the dust of our insignificance.

It has knobs, tentacles, what looks like decisions.

It sorts us into types and chooses its strategy

For each victim.

It "adjusts" to you and to me,

Kills us the way we can be killed,

A different method like the recipe of the week

Where we are the dinner consumed,

Turned into a fearful, pitiful lost boy,

And girls.

We mill around with our inappropriate responses,

Giggling while our lives burn like kindling

Thrown onto a raging swirl of flame.

But we had plans, trips to Mars,

Self-driving cars, cures for our maladies.

World peace was on the horizon,

An end to racial hatred.

We were about to conquer ourselves,

If only a bit more time, one last chance.

But Mother Nature was not disposed to listen.

We took more than enough time perfecting

Our convenience, our mastery of snacks and

Interesting stories.

So we became both a story and a snack.

We became the convenience of a thing so small

And so simple that we are not sure we see

It belonging to the living.

So it seems to be something not alive

That insists we be the same.

The virus demands that we join its

World that is almost living, almost interesting

And almost flavored like salt and cheese

But essentially dead, not making choices

At all but falling onto the ocean floor

As particles of decayed flesh.

The ocean we pollute with our remains

Becomes both heaven and hell in our

Final story unknown and empty.

With the end of consciousness

The universe continues and the virus

Seeks new messes to clean up,

New planners to interrupt and

Bring into the reality of life's grand circle.

The biggest, the strongest, the smartest,

the magnificent, the dead.


               John P. Medeiros,  June 2020

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