Monday, 26 October 2020


by Marguerite Guzmán Bouvard

Who could have foreseen this strange
landscape; empty apartments
with new locks spelling eviction,
a subway with only a few people,
schools without children as if a war

had struck without warning leaving
a new kind of devastation, a tide
not of refugees, but of a new
and complex disease that is moving
throughout our country like a massive

invasion, that knows no boundaries,
the grandmother who lies dying
in the hospital, the man who cannot
breathe, the young woman who
is unable walk because of the pain

in her muscles turns out to be
caused by blood clots. How do
we navigate this new war zone,
with some people driving a bus
because it is essential, some people

working at home, our differences 
now magnified, but pain is always
around us like sudden heavy
rain, like wildfires. The soldiers
that are called forth during

this deadly war are doctors, nurses,
emergency technicians who fan
out throughout our country,
like a war zone, yet we are short
of supplies for these soldiers, of supplies

for compassion and understanding
for coming together to face
a pandemic, to move beyond
our differences, arguments, and
denial, to hold each others hands.

* * * * *

Marguerite Guzmán Bouvard ( is the author of ten poetry books, two of which have won awards, including the MassBook Award for Poetry. She has also written many non-fiction books on women's rights, social justice, grief, illness, and The Invisible Wounds of War: Coming Home from Iraq and Afghanistan. She is a former professor of Political Science and Poetry, a former Resident Scholar at Women's Studies Research Center and Environmental Studies at Brandeis University.




  1. This poem lays it out bare and stark, which is how it is. Americans are divided and are killing other Americans. In a sense it's another civil war at play. Marguerite, thank you for this poem.