COVID-33 1/3 by Scott Hume

Scott Hume is a retired journalist and Straw Dog member living now in Wisconsin following 40 years in Chicago. He holds an M.A. in Literature from the University of Chicago and briefly taught creative writing at Chicago State University before moving to magazine—primarily business-to-business titles—journalism, where he stayed. Each line of his poem is the title of a song he listened to during quarantine.


COVID-33 1/3

What a time.
We were not ready.
It’s a different world now;
I can’t tell you why.
Dazed and confused —
Wasn’t expecting that.
World in changes
For reasons I’ve forgotten.
Yesterday’s gone;
Don’t know why.

So this is life.
World of strange design:
You ain’t goin’ nowhere.
How long has this been going on?
There’s a kind of hush;
Everything changed:
Keep your distance;
Gimme shelter.
Wake me up when September ends.

These days,
I just don’t know what to do with myself.
Stranger in a strange land.
Wasting time;
Stuck on the treadmill,
Counting stars.
Last night I got loaded.
How about you?
Don’t tell me you do.

Who knows where the time goes?
Getting good at waiting:
Every day I write the book.
Choices and changes
Like every other morning;
It’s always new to me;
That’s the way I like it.
Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

Don’t you remember,
Back when we were beautiful?
I want it that way.
Wouldn’t it be nice?
I’ve got to stop thinkin’ ‘bout that.
Don’t look back;
Don’t let it bring you down.

The age of worry:
It’s not over by half.
Is this the beginning of the end?
Don’t be that way:
It is what it is.

What do you say?
Feelin’ alright?
Listen to the music!
Dance around the room with me,
Nowhere fast.
Take a picture of this.
Do watcha wanna;
It’s up to you.
Ain’t wastin time no more.

My dear country.
Isn’t it a pity?
What’s the matter here?
Save the country!
Last night I had a dream:
Something’s coming.
People get ready.
Don’t worry about the government;
Don’t worry ‘bout a thing

Things are looking up.
Here comes that rainbow again.

Against all odds,
It’s gonna be alright.
It’s gonna be
Something to talk about.
I think it’s gonna work out fine.
I’m looking forward to looking back.
Keep an eye on summer.