• Martha Patterson

no argument with possibility (poets in pyjamas)

I went out to get the mail this afternoon --

My neighbor was getting into his car.

I hadn’t spoken to him in a month.

“How are you holding up?” he asked.

I knew what he meant. I said,

“It’s hardly affected me, I’m a hermit,

But shops and bars have closed

And I fear for the economy.”


“Best thing that ever happened

To our economy,” he reacted.

“I’m a Socialist, a real one.”

He’s not into buying and spending

And the claptrap of capitalism,

And he shrugged. “Kids are pretty safe,”

I answered. “If they get the virus

It’s usually only like a cold.”


“I know,” he nodded.

“And I’m in my 60s,

But I’m not worried.

I’m not that old.”

I smiled at him, and being cheerful

Said, “More people die from flu

Than from this.” I waved goodbye

And he left in his car.


But after entering my apartment

And opening my mail

That the postman handled,

I remembered not to touch my face,

And washed my hands

And sang “Happy Birthday”

Twice while doing it -- I have

No argument with possibility.


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