Day of Glory

It was a day of boundless glory when the plague struck
Down, and the greatest nation on earth unsheathed its
Sword against the virus; the uninsured and underinsured
Continued slaving for a pittance, as they could neither

Afford to be tested, nor to stay at home. The supply of
Masks, gowns, and face shields was quickly depleted, and
So they started to make their own (which builds character);
Whereon they contracted the virus, and went on to infect

Both their patients and their families, while the sick lost their
Jobs and joined the ranks of the uninsured. They never
Ran out of bullets, bombs, or tanks; yet the supply of beds,
Respirators, and ventilators was soon exhausted – few were

Forthcoming. Patients died in the hallways – the homeless,
On the streets; prisoners were unable to obtain soap or self-
Quarantine, and were mowed down like defenseless birds
At the abattoir. Testing was difficult to obtain, as there were

Simply no profits to be made, and even attendings at the most
Prestigious teaching hospitals saw their requests to be tested
Denied; indeed, no one really knew how many were infected,
All they knew was that they had the finest health care system

In the world, and that they were so much better off than people
In those other countries. Thereon the wickedness of the plague
Met the shining light of the health care oligarchs, until two poisonous
Vines were duly joined as one in profane matrimony; and together

They seized Death’s primordial scythe, and cut down countless
Drowning innocents; and the lamb was set upon the bloody altar
Of unbowed Capital: and the army of automatons proudly marched
On — it marched on unto the day of glory.

David Penner has taught English and ESL within the City University of New York and at Fordham. His articles on politics and health care have appeared in CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Dr. Linda and KevinMD; while his poetry has been published with Dissident Voice. Also a photographer, he is the author of three books: Faces of Manhattan Island, Faces of The New Economy, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at: 321davidadam@gmail. Read other articles by David.