Ben Gunn Syndrome: A Pandemic Parable

by Mell McDonnell

So, white hair wafts about his ears,

and. swatch of ragged thoughts billow around his shoulders.

Notched stick tells days, week, months, and maybe years.


May as well eat berries, oysters, salted goat.

He’d rather have a tiny piece of toasted cheese.

Bent double, he lopes up Spy Glass Hill.

The flat-glass ocean spreads below,

and way away, a speck:

a sail? a sail!

Mell McDonnell is a person of several careers—as an instructor in English at the University of New Orleans, as a freelance financial writer, and as marketing/public relations director for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a member of the Denver Women’s Press Club and Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop. Ms. McDonnell’s poetry appears in The Silver Edge (Leaping Berylians Society, Denver), Third Wednesday (Ann Arbor), and The Road Not Taken: The Journal of Formal Poetry. Ralph Almeida is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and creates in Brooklyn, NY.

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