Published on September 15th, 2020 | by Dana Salvador


PANDEMIC POETRY: Dana Salvador’s “Two-week Quarantine”

(March 2020)

When we returned from Spain in darkness,
the ornamental flowering pear trees hadn’t yet bud.

We took our temperatures and watched from behind
curtains as white blossoms slowly filled the branches

and waited for signs of illness. A cough could produce
panic—a tightness in my chest a symptom or anxiety?

We took our temperatures and waved
to the neighbors who walked by. We peered

at the cars slowly passing and made up stories
about where they’d been, what they’d done.

We took our temperatures and watched
the white petals shake themselves free,

gathering on the empty street. We took
our temperatures. Eventually, heart-shaped

leaves emerged on expecting branches. At night,
we wandered out in front of our house,

too responsible to venture further. The air
a magical chill against our skin. The stars

still welcomed us, and the moon spread
her light along our foreheads like a cool hand,

a mother hovering over her children.

(Photo by Frank Luca on Unsplash)

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About the Author

Dana’s work has been featured in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Literary Mama, Water~Stone Review, Red Rock Review, and North Dakota Quarterly, among others. She is the recipient of a Vogelstein Foundation Grant and the recipient of the 2016 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award. She lives with her family in New Mexico.

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