In this pandemic, time becomes runny Jell-O.

of indistinct color, of no true flavor. Cool, not

chilled, a gruel with loose cohesion; watery aspic-

goop easily poured into drains, basins, mouths,

molds. Forming a clump (can anything we call a

“clump” be welcomed?), oozing, leaving a stain.  


But this is not entirely accurate,


In this slurry-time rest small bits, tiny islands of

contentedness, if not joy. Ukulele lessons from Oahu,

relearning rummy, building kits or puzzles, reconnecting

with the high school crowd on Facebook, tie-dying

our masks as birds-of-paradise plumage.


Isolation, disruption bring reasons

to add ice cubes to our bowls of time.


Michael A. Griffith


Michael A. Griffith teaches at Raritan Valley and Mercer County Community Colleges in central NJ. He is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, Bloodline; Exposed; and New Paths to Eden. Two of these, Bloodline and Exposed, are available in eBook format from Soma Publishing. Mike facilitates a monthly poetry workshop for the Princeton Public Library and is a board member of the Delaware Valley Poets/US 1 Poets. Recent work appears in Ariel Chart, Haiku Journal, Kelsey Review, North of Oxford, Page & Spine, and the anthology book Floored

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links available for ebook and print.


  1. SSGT Larry CogswellJuly 14, 2021 at 12:05 AM

    been awhile since i read any covid-related writing and i must say this does it with creative style and substance.

    1. I'd promised myself I'd write no COVID-19 poems, but I broke that promise during a workshop with a prompt that produced this poem. I'm happy the resulting poem was enjoyable to you. Thank you for reading but more, thank you for your service.

  2. swear i hate covid poems but cannot help but admire this one. still hate covid poems but it must say your writing overcame a global virus. well done.

    1. I hate them, too, Austin. I'm surprised how well-received my poem is and glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and commenting, Austin.

  3. finally a covid poem that does not make my angry or put me to sleep. it is the sign of a good writer to make the old -- new again.

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