Linda Pastan

Corona & At a Time Like This
June 22, 2020 Pastan Linda



A miniscule David without
a slingshot–
speck in the lens
of a microscope–
and the huge machinery
of the great world
I think of the dinosaurs—
Tyrannosaurus Rex
roaming this very earth
at will
before the comet—speck
in the distance– hit.


At a Time Like This


it’s as if the earth is turning
a cold shoulder on us—not the cold
of a melting glacier or even
of snow shredding its
paperwhite fabric at our windowpanes–
our prisons of glass.
No. It’s April, and the earth is flaunting
all its flowers, all its birds flocking
together in exquisite harmony,
all this new green, spreading
like some benign virus
wherever we look.
“This was once yours,’ the earth
seems to say, as we watch
from our upholstered cells,
our locked rooms, each of them nothing
but view. Or is the earth
in all this springtime orchestration
making a music to comfort us?
Is the long train of clustered blossoms,
edging even the woods
with a barrage of wildflowers,
laying out a path for us to follow?
A hymn to see us out.

Linda Pastan was Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991-1995.  In 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement. Her book, Insomnia,  came out in 2015 and A Dog Runs Through It in 2018. Almost An Elegy: New and Later Selected Poems, will be published in 2022.