Poems of the Week

Going Viral

by Susan McLean

at the American Academy in Rome

I’d booked my flight to Italy;
the world was mine to roam.
But now I rue it bitterly
while Romans all stay home.

I thought I’d tour the sights a bit:
all Rome would be my oyster.
But then coronavirus hit,
and now the world’s my cloister.

My nagging sense of menace has
a rapid downward spiral,
replaying Death in Venice as
my holiday goes viral.