writing

WRITING

This is
what I do.
Writing.
Reading.
Translating.
Poetry.
As much as possible.
Stories.
Don’t know how much
I can make this year,
maybe very little,
I could run out of money.
Anyway.
I am privileged.
We are privileged,
our family.
No-one is sick,
until now.
At least I hope,
spoke to my mum yesterday.
They are fine, I hope,
my sister lives across the street,
two or three houses down
and across, very close.
They are all fine, I hope,
the whole extended family.
My mother’s brother,
they have a little garden,
they stay there in summer,
maybe they are there now,
it’s a warm day,
and it’s not far, in Vienna.
My cousins, they are at home,
in Vienna, my cousin’s daughters,
all grown up, like my nephews,
my sister’s kids. One’s a doctor,
the oldest, not finished yet,
but he volunteered, he is helping,
at the doors of one hospital,
screening people.
Overall Austria
has been very lucky.
Less than 200 dead
in early April,
about one tenth
of the rate in Germany,
they have been lucky too,
until now.
We can go out,
if we’re careful.
Wearing masks in the stores.
Leo and I,
we ride our bicycles
up the hill every day.
Maia rides her bike,
Jackie stays at home,
goes out in the evening.
We are goddamn lucky.
Easter is coming,
I should watch my language.
Austria
is goddamn lucky.
There I go again, sorry.
We should share
our fair burden
with the EU.
Not sure we are doing that.
Anyway, we are careful,
we help each other,
hopefully.
Some people don’t have enough space
in the city,
not everyone has an open park
right downstairs like we do.
Some parks are closed,
some should be open,
this has been the biggest fight
in this little country.
That and that province,
down in the alps.
Up in the alps, I mean.
People got infected there
in early March,
till the middle of March
some hotels weren’t closed.
Skilifts were running.
So we don’t have a good reputation,
People got infected in Austria.
And the provincial governor
refused to speak to foreign media.
But we are lucky,
people have other problems.
Jobs. Parents. Grandparents.
Kids.
This is what I do,
writing.
Up on our roof,
in the sun.
Meeting neighbours,
talking.
Quite enough room.
Singing downstairs,
in the corridor outside,
with next-door neighbours.
Godawful lucky.

MW April 2020

 

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