I should know about life since

I host so many lives within me.

My body is how I inhabit this earthbound realm

but it’s also a universe of fathomless worlds:

bacteria and protozoa, fungi and viruses,

making me whole but also vulnerable,

enabling my very survival, singing songs

I cannot hear but which thrum in my blood.  


I should know about death since 

I carry the dead within me.

The threads of my DNA entwine saints and savages,

the wise, the foolish, the divinely ordinary.

Their destinies teach me

I am not immune to history:

we must wound ourselves on the barbs

of experience to learn that while love

might be the blessing, loss is the teacher.


Now a new player has joined the scene,

freshly born, wearing a crown of thorns,

ticking in the world like a clock,

and like its companion, death, a thief of time.


I don’t know the number of my days,

sure only of how much I cannot fathom.

But think of this: 

somewhere in this mortal world

someone knows fifty words for snow.

That matters, just as knowing that

past and future are a circle 

and life is a virus as much as an embrace.


— Peaco Todd


Day after Day in Quarantine, 2020

Peterborough Poetry Project

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