Susan Alexander is a Canadian poet and writer living in British Columbia on Nexwlélexm/Bowen Island, the traditional and unceded territory of the Squamish people. Susan’s work has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines throughout Canada, the US, and the UK. She is the author of two collections of poems, Nothing You Can Carry, 2020, and The Dance Floor Tilts, 2017, from Thistledown Press. Her suite of poems called Vigil won the 2019 Mitchell Prize for Faith and Poetry, while some of her other work has received the Vancouver Writers Fest and Short Grain Awards.
after “A Wreath” – George Herbert
This poem is a virus—I pass it to you. —Dayna Kidd Patterson
A novel virus is the proffered verse to me passed
Which I pass thumb-licked to you, who know all my lapses,
My hacking, feverish lapses, how this mind will sleep
A sleep in isolation be it weeks or months, the time needed.
A tethered time wherein I may die, not live:
For isn’t living lips and kiss, hands interlaced,
A granted interface that curls each into each.
Each held belief, loose. Let me miss that you might live
So shall I live and love to see you past these days
Of passing bells and hand-wash songs and newsfeeds
Who feed us doubt and data, more fear, less faith.
So in faith my poor verse offered may a virus contain.