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