Sonnet Sunday 30: The Virus
Somehow, despite even having a seven year old with a bad cough living with me, I have managed to stay healthy in what I understand to be one of the rougher cold and flu seasons of recent years. Last year was a different story; I seemed to catch virtually ever bug that went around. This sonnet suite is the result of one of those colds.
Written March 12, 2017
O Lord of every atom ever made
Of every particle and molecule
Whom virus and bacteria obey,
Who winds our DNA upon a spool
And with these threads and beads particulate
You knit together every living thing
And everything that you articulate
Must come to be—for you are the great King
Whose perfect wish and will must be obeyed
By stars—down to a tiny mote of dust
In nature is your majesty displayed,
But all the more can it be found in us:
These chemicals, these atoms Adam formed,
And nothing without you can e’er be born.
No airborne thing, no ailment penetrate
What you have first protected by your will
And so—it follows—when colds perpetrate,
When viruses assail us, make us ill—
That these are simply servants who obey:
These microscopic warriors inside.
Bacterias and cancers—leave or stay—
It’s by your will they die or they abide.
And yet your will has also made our brains,
And we invent vaccines and medicine
And find new cures for all these virus strains,
Yet still it’s by your power that we win.
So—as I fight this cold—of this I’m sure:
You ordered the disease—and bring the cure.