Sharing Our Stories: Alumnae Stories from the Pandemic

Barbara-Crooker-author-photo undatedAuthor Barbara Poti Crooker ‘67 was preparing to launch her latest book of poetry, “Some Glad Morning” (Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Poetry Press), when the pandemic meant cancelling book events. “Still,” she says, “I’m writing, because that (and gardening) is all I know how to do.” She frequently contributes updates and poetry through Class Notes and has read her work at AADC Alumnae Reunion Weekend. Here is her poem, shared on October 1, 2020.


line seven is a quote by Peter Medawar, Nobel Prize winner

I’m stuck at home in quarantine,
or is it merely social isolation?
I’m making sure my hands are clean.

I suppose I should be eating Lean Cuisine,
and practicing caloric deprivation.
I’m stuck at home in quarantine.

This virus: bad news wrapped in a protein.
I fear it will transform, a new mutation.
So please make sure your hands are clean.

I should begin an exercise routine
instead of using wine as lubrication.
I’m stuck at home in quarantine.

I could be riding in a limousine
in Paris, on a luxury vacation.
Instead, I’m washing hands, so clean.

One day, perhaps, there’ll be a new vaccine.
Or doctors will discover mitigation.
Till then, I’m here, in quarantine.
Nothing to do, but keep my hands clean.

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