Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


I Turn to Prayer

in Coronavirus by

There are no atheists in foxholes
source uncertain

On a planet where the sun rises red
and the moon glows amber
               like a spoon of honey
               in a coffee sky, a virus still rages
                              like the fires
               flaming five million acres
               of forests and homes.

Good and bad hair days
               have been replaced by
good and bad air days–
And for a heap of weeks,
               our air has been a mess.

I mask for ash-filled skies and COVID
all rolled into an apocalyptic brew
               in a nation debating masks
                              all the way to the cemetery.

Now, pestilence snakes
               through the White House halls–
Trump got the bug, karmic justice
               and just plain disdain
               finally catching up with him.

I’m not one to wish folks ill,
               though the man throws tinder
                              on wildfires
                              of injustice.
I don’t want to be crass, so
               I turn to prayer–

May the flame of COVID’s fever burn white
               supremacy from his brain.
May walking death’s highway teach him
               how much life matters–
                              black & brown lives too.



Susana Praver-Perez is an Oakland-based poet. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including Poets Reading the News. Her first full-length book of poetry titled Hurricanes, Love Affairs and Other Disasters is in the works.

Photograph by Mariana Rios Jasso.


‘It looks like the apocalypse:’ See wildfire smoke turn San Francisco’s sky orange

Trump Tests Positive for the Coronavirus
[New York Times]

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