Coronavirus XXXII (company)

For company I
walk into the cold wind,
snow still on the ground,

the shore laced with froth.
I watch the ducks, backs against
the wind, ride the waves.

In shared finitude,
communication is by
signs or not at all—-

but it’s too cold. I’ll
take the not at all and let
the ducks ride it out.

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.

One thought on “Coronavirus XXXII (company)”

  1. this poem is a reflection on opennes to divien otherness. It turns on hte stance of opverty. The reader may at first take this as financial deprivation and of coruse this may not be irrelevent. However the poem shows us how pverioty is or can be a condition of spiritual receptivity. the poet has mentioned walking out for company. So we have the image of the poet as lonely or at least as alone. When we come to the description of communication we may most immediately assume this communication is human or at least from animals to each otehr including the poet as human being. So the paraodxy of communication coming through signs or not at all coems as a surprise, the revelation atht the poverty of openness allows the poet to be aprt of the open triangle of communcation between himself, the world (ducks, ocean, etc) and the source of being itself.


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