Dr Schntel

German plague drawing from 1656.

Plague doctor mask

After the plague

After the plague

the world is quiet,

listening for signs of life. 


We begin to creep out 

of our homes and stand 

on the street, bewildered. 


Still afraid 

of what we cannot see

yet brave enough to open our eyes. 


Birds seem smaller.

Trees lean towards the sun. 

The island floats on top of the sea.


There is a perfume 

which has no name

but is sweet, hypnotic.


Karaka leaves shine

and moths dance

on branches. 


Slowly, we move closer again.

Join fingertips, hands, bodies, 



Julie Leibrich, April 2020