Poems of the Week

A Bit of Bother

by Nina Parmenter

Here is the bat that coughed and sneezed,
here is a droplet on a breeze,
and here is the pangolin who breathed
and caught a bit of bother.

Here is a market in Wuhan,
and here is the germ that caught a man
who kissed his wife—and so began
a little bit of bother.

Here is a party man who guessed
that bad diseases breed bad press,
and here is the day he chose not to confess
to a little bit of bother.

Here is a leader across the sea,
here is his booming economy
and here are the dying he chose not to see
until they were a bother.

Here are the coffins and here are the casks,
here are the care workers begging for masks,
and here are the scientists facing the task
of sorting out the bother.