by Robin Wayland

We thought it would be the atom bomb—

Blown to bits in a white mushroom
the consequence of superpowers,
Big, Bad, Blustery.

But a virus?
Too small to see with the naked eye—

Blind to Black and White
Asian, Mexican—
no regard for borders or boundaries.

Defying treaties
or alliances
struck at gun point.

Deaf to
the difference in our tongues
our cultures and accents,
plates and palates.

A virus, attaching to us all
without declaring war
or marking a line in the sand.

Under the eyes
of a virus
we are equal.

Upon Leaving

by Robin Wayland

You left quietly
in the still of the morning sun
before I had my tea.

You left silently
your bare feet
cleansed with tears
and rosewater.

You left bravely
Hafez in your ear
Rumi at your side,
gently wrapped
in pristine white cotton.

You left finally
taking nothing
my world
my heart
my soul.