The Dark

Ivana Cajina

“Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Death Toll, Highest in World, Surpasses 100,000”
New York Times, May 27, 2020

Warren Wong

“And the dark
that comes
doesn’t feel so
(Mary Lyn Ray, from Stars)*

Lately (maybe always) I have especially needed Mary Lyn Ray’s beautiful book of poetry Stars, illustrated by Marla Frazee. If you don’t know this book, you must find a copy. It was published in 2011, but it could be the word we need now, the word to save in our pocket when the Coronavirus, COVID-19 headlines overpower us. Mary Lyn acknowledges the dark that comes in our lives, but she joys in the stars that accompany the night, reminding us:

“You need
some dark
to see

Thank God for those stars.

Calwaen Liew
The Dark

Reach deep
into your pocket

for the funny word pajamas,
the name Cuomo

the funniest, most straight-faced
of brothers grinning

at each other
across the Sunday

family dinner table
long and wide enough

Joyce Romero

to set another place
for you, and you don’t

even have to be Italian,
just boisterous

(another funny word)
and laughing,

having been gifted
with the secret word pajamas

say it and win a plate of linguini,
the funniest word.

Take it with you
when you leave.

You will need it,
even before next Sunday.

David Veksler

*Ray, Mary Lyn. Stars. Illustrated by Marla Frazee, Beach Lane Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2011.

Casey Horner