This is an ironic poem. Pandemic always comes with its deadly clutches, but as a poet I tried to find something positive while using negative capability of Keats. I want to quote the exact definition of the poetic term, Negative Capability, by Wikipedia:
Negative capability is a phrase first used by Romantic poet John Keats in 1817 to explain the capacity of the greatest writers to pursue a vision of artistic beauty even when it leads them into intellectual confusion and uncertainty, as opposed to a preference for philosophical certainty over artistic beauty.
If you read this poem in the context of above mentioned definition, the irony in this poem may hold valuable lessons. Social Scientists are trying to find the positive implications of recent pandemic in their own way, but I tried to describe a hidden impact of it. I met a man who was employed only during the days of Covid, and now he's unemployed. So, enjoy this poem in this context.
Blinking at the shift schedule,
I sparkled in the days of Covid.
As a doorman, I stood firm for eight hours.
My nightmares dragged me six feet under.
Winter hugged me tight still I thrived.
My employer waved at me from behind glass,
and sent appreciation letters.
“You’re a real hero;
We salute your bravery.”
I wanted to shout:
“I’m hungry not brave.
My hunger is vicious,
more powerful than a million Covid germs.”
Today I was laid off,
And Covid whispered
“Bye for now,
"You're a failure."
Mocking the echoes of "hero"
I implored in return:
“My benefactor, my livelihood,
I love your protracted pandemic chill,
Please come back.
I starve again.”