Poetry Friday–Covid, Cakewalk & Monarch’s Endangered…

This past week… I’ve been up to my elbows in soap, disinfecting anything in sight while trying to keep the cruel airborne Covid Virus from coming my way. My husband came down with Covid, I sure wouldn’t wish this on anyone, it’s not been mild–as my poem saga spells out…


Covid crept into our lives—
Uninvited it delighted
slipping in between my husband’s mask
or perhaps his dash outside while sin-mask…
Oh, woe–this ain’t no
cake-walk—Heck NO!

Between his cough, raw throat,
and phlegm explosions,
We’re both quarantining:
Him positive + – Me negative
keeping as much space between
us as our home amicably will glean…

Wanna meet in the yard,
he says via phone…
we gotta get through
5 days, then
hopefully 10.

This is a crazy way to livewhat
and “something’s gotta give”


Wear your mask
even outside—
It’s truly, unduly, and
virtually your friend—
And it sure beats
masking at home!

© 2022 Michelle Kogan

Monarch, Milkweed, and Hollyhock, © Michelle Kogan, watercolor and watercolor pencil.

I just read via National Geographic that our Monarch Butterflies have been listed as endangered, which tears and tears me up. Here is the link for one article-and a second one here.

Be sure to stop by our wordsmith-leader Mary Lee Hahn’s blog, A(nother) Year of Reading for this week’s Poetry Roundup, thanks for hosting Mary Lee!

About Michelle Kogan Art, Illustration, & Writing

Michelle Kogan is an artist, illustrator, instructor, and writer, creating colorful allegorical figure, flora and fauna paintings and children's illustrations, which have a sensitivity to endangered species, and the environment. She is an art instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Evanston Art Center and offers Plein Air Painting Workshops at nature venues in the Chicago area including the Lincoln Park Conservatory, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and Lurie Gardens at Millennium Park. Visit her online Etsy Shop at: http://www.MichelleKoganFineArt.etsy.com and her website: http://www.michellekogan.com
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10 Responses to Poetry Friday–Covid, Cakewalk & Monarch’s Endangered…

  1. Tim Kulp says:

    Michelle, sorry to hear about your husband’s COVID infection. Your poem is excellent! I really enjoyed reading it. This line specifically really jumped at me: “Him positive + – Me negative”. I love the visual you did with the +- dividing you and he. Very creative. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Denise Krebs says:

    Michelle, I’m sorry you both have to go through this. You’re right, it doesn’t sound like a cakewalk. Peace and healing soon! Thanks for spreading the word. I am wearing my mask too. Your illustration of the monarchs and their habitat is just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  3. maryleehahn says:

    Oh, Michelle! My heart is breaking…in several ways. First, for you and your husband, and then for the monarchs and all of us who love and garden for them. Your poem is a poignant mix of urgency and humor. We are masking in all indoor spaces now, but clearly, that isn’t always enough. Nevertheless, we’ll persist!

  4. Linda Mitchell says:

    Well this seals the deal for me. I have been wondering if I’m going to mask-up going back to school in just over a week. Yes, I am. I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through this craziness. What a rotten way to end the summer. You are brilliant in turning your misfortune into poetry, though. Great poem! And, cake-walk is a wonderful phrase to use in comparison.

  5. janicescully says:

    Sorry to hear about this. My husband and I both recently recovered and I wouldn’t want to get it again, but it does seem to be around. I hope he feels well soon and you stay well. 🙂

  6. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, my heart goes out to you because COVID is no fun! My husband, son, and I are still COVID-free but we wanted to bring dinner over to my little girls last night before they leave for Colorado and we could not. My daughter said that some child in the swim class got COVID. My family all had COVID but they are trying to be careful for us. Masking is a good choice that I have not let go. I wish others would be thoughtful. Your poem is full of reality but the drawing brings me back to the beauty of nature of which you cannot indulge in right now. Peace to you.

  7. May your Covid calamities quickly resolve themselves. Your advocacy for masks is an important call, Michelle. I am wearing a mask anywhere beyond the house once again as infection numbers rise significantly across Australia. Your poems are illustrative of what Covid does when it sneaks through our defences. I read about the decline of the Monarch butterflies in my Saturday newspaper. Quite alarming news. The world presents as a confronting and contradictory place at present. Pockets of hope and beauty remain a balm. Be safe, be well.

  8. Oh I hope you stay COVID-free. I got it from ALA and luckily no one in my family contracted it, thank fully!

  9. margaretsmn says:

    Michelle, my husband had Covid this week as well. We had traveled with a tour group in Costa Rica and quite a few have gotten sick since. I’m trying to keep masking but I am getting the feeling that it really doesn’t matter. If Covid wants to invade, it will. I also read about the monarchs. I keep milkweed in my garden but this spring I didn’t have any of the caterpillars make it to maturity. I think there is more than habitat loss going on and feel powerless to help. Think of me if you see any solutions.

  10. mbhmaine says:

    Oh, Michelle. I’m so sorry to hear your husband has Covid. I hope by the time you read this that he is on the mend and that you remain negative. Your poem captures a sad reality–you can’t count on this illness being a “cake walk.” I appreciate that you at least got a poem out of the whole mess. I hope this coming week brings happier news and health into your home. Also, your painting is just beautiful, but the monarch news is heartbreaking.

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