Four hundred days we’ve drifted
In the back-split red-brick ark
Solo since the rising
Of the sudden unseen sea.
We’ve been safe within these walls
from the virus and the rain
But the beasts we brought within us
Are roaring in the hold.
We’re a hundred million winged things
Blotting out the sun
We’re the herds that shake the earth
For three days with their passing.
In each of us, a great migration
In each of us, a hunting ground
Now restricted and contained
To the back-split red-brick ark.
So tend the creatures that you are,
All the stinging, singing things
We must care for til the day
The keel scrapes home on Ararat
And the door shut not by hands
Is opened unto us again
And all our lovely wild selves
Can be the rest of what they are.
~ Mike Bonikowsky
Mike is my nephew. He is a caregiver for adults with developmental disabilities. These men have been in true lockdown since March 2020. Mike started writing this poem about them, but then realized it’s also about all of us right now.