31 March 2020

Sleeping Giants

Hamden, Connecticut's Sleeping Giant Mountain from the Quinnipiac river.

One body lying flat—or even two—
make mountain silhouettes almost human.

Such low mountain ranges still have fault lines
and cliffs enough to endanger hikers,

but larger piles of bodies make features
disappear.  And darkness doubles danger.

We’d need more respirators to manage
the victims, more hand washing to take hold.

We’ve all studied the rules of the low way
and know no rules means we pile up dead.

So I don’t go out at all, but monitor 
brave actions through impenetrable screens

and see that making safe places for all
will not be possible if doors are locked.
You see the paradox?  Let’s approach
the mountain, help travelers safely home.
Let's offer meals and blankets.  Let's offer
giants softness for under sleepy heads.

for earthweal's weekly challenge: FLATTENING THE CURVE

(at earthweal)

My blog poems are rough drafts.
     Please respect my copyright.
 If you quote, credit this page.
     © 2020 Susan L. Chast


Yvonne Osborne said...

As has been said, "If we can't do what we do, we do what we can." I love the sleeping mountain metaphor. I have family in Connecticut.

thotpurge said...

Larger piles of bodies make features disappear... all those statistics, that death toll..have to keep reminding ourselves they are individuals and families and friends..and the tragedy is many times that number.

Myrna R. said...

A good metaphor Susan. Your mind is always so creative. Your message is well taken by me. Thank you. May you stay well and safe. (It's so nice to read you again too.)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Susan, this is WONDERFUL!!!! I love the idea of softness for under sleepy giant heads. And of helping travelers safely home. Thanks for writing for earthweal, my friend.

Brendan said...

Susan, this is marvelously writ, lyric and gentle like a rolling hill prone in the distance. Erosion is what flattened the eastern mountain surge -- several times over hundreds of millions of years -- what results is known enough, sizeable yes but most of all not the forbidding monster crags they once were. It's an apt metaphor for embracing the modest things we all can do to spare all the fall from such heights. -- A very good metaphor for dealing with climate change, knowing that small actions collectively embrace can help spare the world from the extinction spike. Well done, and a great response to the challenge. - Brendan