John Dorsey: “Belle, Missouri, During the Pandemic on a Wednesday”



Belle, Missouri, During the Pandemic on a Wednesday 

here nothing has changed
everyone thinks we’re overreacting 
angry parents talk about the prom 
& missed school trips

young lovers have always died for pageantry 

but the truth is 
kids will still make babies 
in the back of parked cars without 
all of the ceremony

the news is a reminder that
the atomic bomb didn’t exist 
until we built it

someone says
if we can survive that
we’ll certainly 
get through this

with or without toilet paper.


About the Author: John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017) and Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize.He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at


More By John Dorsey:

Anthony Bourdain Crosses the River of the Dead

Punk Rock at 45

Perpetual Motion


Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith “Jalopy that has seen better days” The Library of Congress. Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

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