Wednesday, July 14, 2021

American Writers Review - Turmoil and Recovery

 Hi there, 

Just to let you know, three of my pandemic poem are in this wonderful anthology. See below the lovely cover:




Dotty LeMieux


In climates where the temperatures rarely, if ever, drop

below 50°F, the honeybee colony keeps working all year‐round.

Encyclopedia Britannica


This is the day I cut my own toe attempting

a clumsy pedicure at the edge of the tub, then

tumble backward, bashing a rib

into the edge of my fickle scale


my husband locks himself out of the office, calls

impatient—you don’t answer your phone

I’m down on my knees, bloodied

thinking about breathing in

and breathing out


How deep is the breath

in this old battered body?

No spring in this chicken

and the hair, uncombed, frantic


Bone, muscle gristle, what

is being born today is not me

or you, maybe a nation, or a notion

of decency after all, maybe a chance

to dream


Ribs will heal, skin be restored

with Neosporin and a band‐aid

keys delivered

But what of our Republic?

What of hope?


Will they wither and fade

like last season’s tomato plants?

Or blossom like a winter rose, translucent,

still attractive to life‐sustaining bees

who beat all odds by resolute

pumping of wings

to fly?


Like It Was Normal

Dotty LeMieux


On a Sunday night we go next door

to say goodbye to the neighbors moving

across the country


Like it was normal, we go

right inside the house

to share farewells


Like it was normal, a small

group has gathered

wearing masks and touching nothing


Suddenly the one leaving

grabs me in a hug

I want to hug back


like it was normal, but freeze,

stiffen against rudeness

to protect myself, her,


 the one leaving to care

for her newly widowed father

and the neighbors staying behind


the ones we see everyday

on dog walks, getting the mail, passing

never closer than six feet


Goodbyes are quick, we promise

emails, phone calls, run

back home, embarrassed


Like it was normal, we lock

the door behind us, wash

our hands for twenty long seconds


take our temperature for 10, 14 days

scour each other and the web

for unusual symptoms

put up talismans to ward off

evil spirits

like it was normal.

What Happens to Me Happens Also to



Never more apparent than in a pandemic

I reach for the door of the refrigerated case

in the supermarket and you reach for it too


Our hands meet, but only on cold steel

What I deposit there, you receive and carry

and pass on to the next item in the store

and your car and then take home

to your children


What you deposit, I pick up and carry

to the lettuce, the spinach, the Winesap apples

I reject as unripe

and home to rest on the doorknob

and the back of my husband’s neck


Even with a mask, with washing, with taking

no chances, I become you and you become me

We are mirror images of each other

even in the best of times


The multitudes within me are within you

They grow and multiply and so enlarge us

until there are no distinctions made

no boundaries formed,

no alliances claimed, shored up,

fought for


When even the dogs in their ignorance

join the chain of becoming infected

with us,

their eyes pleading

for touches

for treats

for any small reassurances

of consistency and love.