Pandemic Stroll

Katie Vagnino

Today I find myself avoiding cracks
in the sidewalk like a superstitious kid,
afraid a misstep might be tantamount
to tugging a loose thread
in the sweater of misfortune
we’ve been wearing since March.

Commercials remind us that we’re all in this together.
Chalk flowers and doodles on the pavement remind me
that children are living through this, too.
I wonder if it seems to them like a warped fairytale—
we’re all Rapunzels with overgrown hair, trapped
in a tower of our own making.

Maybe what’s going on doesn’t remind them
of any story they’ve ever heard.
Once Upon a Time bears no resemblance
to now or a past anyone can remember.
Perhaps all we can do is turn to poetry and prayer,
summon those ancient, invisible forces to battle an invisible virus.


About Katie Vagnino
Katie Vagnino is a poet and educator based in South Minneapolis. She holds degrees from Yale University (B.A.) and Emerson College (M.F.A.) and has taught creative writing all over the country. Katie currently serves on the Board of Directors for Saint Paul Almanac and Gris Literatura. Her first book of poetry, Imitation Crab, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2021.


Pandemic Stroll Copyright © 2021 by Katie Vagnino. All Rights Reserved.

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