Sirens fill the empty canyons, heralds of a deadly spring,
while the images repeat and repeat and repeat across the screen.
Masked faces telling desperate stories of flooded hallways
and gasping hours, of fear, exhaustion, and despair,
of knocks on nursing home windows, of face-time deaths,
and worse, the prospect of triage roulette.
But outside, many fall silently, alone, as they lived,
remembered only by a neighbor’s tardy knock,
or atop the sidewalk grate, as they lived, and have now passed,
quietly, still forgotten, untallied in the daily count, to fill the trenches
of potter’s field that beckon the unclaimed, to be bagged and sheathed
and to soldier in neat rows, uncounted once last time.