Typhoid Mary

For today’s prompt, write an isolation poem.

– and –

Let’s try an “If-Then” poem.


Typhoid Mary

Pretend we’re living
in a sci-fi horror novel
by King or Crichton
and there’s a plague
sweeping the world
and we must isolate
ourselves from our friends
and colleagues to keep
the most vulnerable safe.

Now imagine our neighbors
didn’t accept science
and, like Typhoid Mary,
refused to change.
They wouldn’t wash their hands,
not believing in germs.
They insisted the outbreaks
that followed were mere coincidence
since they had no symptoms.

If we were experiencing
such strange and frightening times,
distant tragedies in the news
drawing ever closer,
like a summer thunderstorm,
then in that book
or the inevitable movie,
would those deniers
be the good guys?

(Note the above poem, with minor edits, also works for the Climate Crisis.)

(Photo credit: Facebook/Alyson McClaran)


About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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4 Responses to Typhoid Mary

  1. Patty says:

    These deniers are a part of some strange cult following their brainless orange leader… in the book, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

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