Prayer to Saint Corona

Pandemic Poetry

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Saint Corona, Patron Saint of pandemics,
please hear my prayer:
do not allow me
to make myself prisoner
of my own paranoia,

let me past this pneumatic palisade,
this porcupine shrine
of prickly fear
that steals breath like forks
from the hands of the humble

allow my feet to carry me forward
in the face of exponential uncertainty,
where crowds gather like crows
to watch women lick their toilets,
and men sell sips from a cow’s urine

where preachers extend their fingers
out toward the screen
and promise a protective veil
of prayerful power awaits
those who prove their devotion

Saint Corona, Patron Saint of influenza,
of h1n1, polio, and covid19,
I’ve seen images of you
strung up between the palms,
their bent trunks held only by ropes

waiting to be cut and split
your sacred body
like a book ripped
at its binding,
and I’m feeling feverish

but encouraged by such martyrdom,
though not traditionally
a patron saint of plagues,
not one of the 14 Nothelfer
called upon to end the Black Death

it’s you who wears the crown,
it’s you who speaks from your Italian crypt
a calming soliloquy of psalms,
that a virus holds no sovereignty
over the solitude of our lives

the human animal may cry
the human animal may be depressed,
hands rubbed raw and sore
brows creased with the dirt
of digging so many graves

but the human animal remains,
much like these prayers
to mostly forgotten saints,
Corona, Corona, hear them now,
hear them, and please say something.

Written by

Provocative truth teller, author of 14 poetry collections. Cat dad. Dog dad. Currently working from Portland, Oregon. Learn more at:

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