“Pandemic” by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

Pandemic” by Lynn Ungar. Lynn’s 2012 book Bread and Other Miracles (AuthorHouse) is available at Amazon. 

* Thank you Hannah T. for your sweet email and for sharing this poem with us. 

10 thoughts on ““Pandemic” by Lynn Ungar

    1. Grateful for your note, thank you!
      Hannah—the lovely reader who shared the poem with us—said Lynn reminds her of my favorite Mary Oliver. Such grace, when we are all desperately in need.


  1. Jerome Joseph

    Shabbat. From the Hebrew root: shin-beit-tav. It means “to cease, to end, to rest.” Today, this translates to “cease the suffering, to end the virus, and yes,
    to rest— but only then.”

    Liked by 2 people

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