A COVID-19 Poem from the Mayor of Ossining

Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity

After several attempts to craft a letter about the virus, this weekend I distilled my thoughts into a poem. It reflects my observations, fears and hopes, both big picture and small.


Three millennials walk into a bar.
And they hug.
And they kiss.
And they eat with their fingers
from a communal dish.

They are young.
They are healthy.
Their households are too.
They fear loss of freedom and jobs,
not this new kind of flu.

Church is cancelled today.
“Could we spread out through the pews?”
Pastor had mused.
He abides the request.
Staying home now is best.

Need a job?
Call Door Dash. They’re swamped.
Support local business! Folks plead.
Get take out, delivery,
and gift cards you don’t need!
Some do, not enough.
Making payroll is tough.

Work remotely online!
That sounds quaint to the laborer,
server and chef.
Will rent be paid on Albany’s dime?
When we venture back in the world,
what shops will be left?

The unknown is scary.
Few tests are at hand.
Slow the spread so that science
can catch the demand.
Keep grandma at home.
Birthday parties are banned.

Schools are shutting their doors,
though kids don’t feel sick.
Big kids learn from a screen
and then want to go play.
With parents at work
where do little kids stay?

Leaders try to be wise,
learning what actions matter.
So many voices and meetings
and online chatter.
What can we do
to make the curve flatter?

Do we lock it all down?
Mandate a ghost town?
What have we learned
from China and Rome?
How will we be changed
when we emerge from our home?

How long will this last?
When will social distance
be a thing of the past?

A century of scientific miracles.
We believed we were invincible.

With one crown shaped virus
Mother Nature reminds us,
it’s connection that binds us.

~Victoria Gearity, Mayor of Ossining

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