When We Were Free

We trod the cobbled courts around Karluv Most
Played the fiddle in Piazza San Marco 
Gambled with rain in Gamla Stan
Bought books in Berlin 
Awaited the spring in Amsterdam
And then it stopped.
In seven days the world ended
Packed up in a box
Labeled ‘Fragile’ and put away
On the highest shelf in the pantry 
Above the pickled photographs
And sugared memories

© 2020 Erna Grcic 

I was asked to contribute a poem to an anthology that would document the experiences of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are living in a period that will unquestionably end up in history books, a period that has had a massive effect on the entire earth’s population, and that will definitely have an effect on the artistic output. The poem is still a work in progress, but here is an excerpt that should give you a taste of where I’m headed. I know this is the right time to embrace the sci-fi dystopian worldview, but I’d rather stick to actually trying to represent the reality with which we are currently grappling. I am planning to introduce the contrast, the before and the after, while reflecting on the individualised experiences, the fear, the tedium, the anxiety, the incredulity, and the hope that are swirling in our cups today.

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