Annus horribilis. Dumpster fire. Shit show. Fuster cluck. If nothing else 2020’s been a good year for swear words and rage.
Since at least June we’ve been hearing, I can’t wait for this year to be over. As if with the flip of the calendar page life will suddenly improve. We know that’s just a dream. Death is not going anywhere. Hate has settled in at the table. A nasty gang of heavy drinkers—fire, floods, heat waves, tornadoes et al— have ordered another round. Lingering in the front hall are murder hornets and locust swarms, and there’s probably a school shooter lurking in the basement. Not to mention the beast of overwriting who has taken over the study.
But even if 2021 isn’t going to be the end of disasters, it may well be the beginning of the end for some of them. We have hope. We always do. That’s why we count down the days for the new year, that’s why we can’t help but feel excited when the ball drops.
In the spirit of such hope, tomorrow I’m launching my own countdown: a series of poems to mark the end of 2020. I have at least sixteen poems to post by the end of December. There’ll be poems for the pandemic and quarantine (more accurately, poems of isolation, anxiety, death and survival); poems that take on racial injustice and political division; poems of expectation and joy (because we’ve had that too); and poems by some of the great poets who died this year.
A big dumpster fire at least gives off some light, so see you tomorrow, Day 24 of the Poem Elf 2020 Countdown.