Coronavirus V

The neighborhood now
in coronavirus lock-
down sounds self-absorbed.

The irregular ping
of the disused basketball
hoop spaced by patient

grunts and rare yeses.
To agree with life’s new rules
makes grace possible.

All around the court
old people listen to these
sounds and feel better.

NB caveat lector. This is not a vision but a slice of life. The persona or voice of the poem may strike you as ‘self-absorbed.’ There’s plenty of context to deal with. Some things are missing, like the rhythmic smack of the dribbled ball. That absence foregrounds the other sounds and a feeling of disembodiment becomes part of the poem as it opens on the final content.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

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