The Pathogen

Born of a dank and hidden cave in Pandemonium,
The pathogen found a land that filled it with delight;

A country run by thieves who looted the public trough,
And used their lucre to wage war and live in gluttony;

They set aside a pittance for all that was foundational;
Thereupon there was a lack of doctors, nurses, masks

And ventilators — the wicked bow not unto the angels but
Upon the sorrows and the damned; alas, the bombs fell

Copiously, while testing was done sparingly; a barbarous
Land that held good health care as a privilege, one that

Embraced profiteering off of illness and death; instead
Of building hospitals and schools, they built prisons and

Bases: each base, an arsenal of depravity and monstrous
Violence — each prison a Petri dish for the plague to spread

Its dark shroud; tens of millions lacked sick pay or any
Insurance whatsoever, while a far greater number were

Grievously under-insured; and the pathogen found its home
In this land of unbound tyranny, where the gods of avarice

And kleptocracy reigned; and the star-crossed lovers engorged
Upon their villainy, so that the two demons stood out upon

The blood-drenched precipice — undrowned were the falling
Of the angels — to embrace in the pall of the unraveling night

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.