In the slipstream
Judy Melchiorre is a poet who resides in Richmond VA. She is a member of River City Poets, James River Writers, Poetry Society of Virginia, and Poetry Society of New York. Judy’s work appears in Streetlight Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, and two anthologies. She also is the co-editor of the River City Poets Anthology, Lingering in the Margins, published in April 2019. She is sometimes a substitute teacher for high school students. She lives with her husband, two snuggly dogs and one sassy cat.
In the slipstream of virus, like a fish netted,
tossed on dock, gills quivering…
Newly-inked college diploma, verge
of Second Great Depression, death
stalks his Brooklyn neighborhood—
Close buddy on ventilator, pressing
hand to plexiglass, he mouths word,
Snaking through streets, others brush
past, six-feet aside, almost home—
he and Pop exchange elbow-bumps
for traditional handshake,
dance with Mom, arms extended,
fingertips close to touch.
He warns “be safe;”
they nod, “yes, son,” they promise.
His brows notch closer, questions
On the fly—
from clogs and cogs
& hacking coughs,
cloth conceals yet
eyes reflect fear,
echo Times Square,
of unoiled ligaments
clatter bang cross tracks
movement morphs into lullaby
A wider space
waves of other ocean
breathe in his ears,
calm his juddering mind
A new direction.
drops of rain,
like the change
in the devotion
box for votive
prayers to God,
from the storm
*la parapluie, from the French, umbrella.