Douglas Holder

I wear a pristine

white mask

to cover my contorted face

my hands covered

in clenched fists

of tight blue



People swerve

from me

in the street,

wide arcs

for six feet

of shelter

from the storm.


I play Hollywood Squares on Zoom

framed portraits of friends

a museum of distress–

talking helps…

gallows humor does

the rest.

Doug Holder is the founder of the Ibbetson Street Press. His work has appeared widely in literary journals and newspapers. His most recent poetry collection is ” The Essential Doug Holder.” He teaches creative writing at Endicott College in Beverly, MA.

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Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

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