by Sima Rabinowitz

Field: a particular area (as a record in a database) in which the same type of information is regularly recorded 

In the East Meadow at the corner of 97th and Agony, we’re keeping track. Fourteen tents—Sixty-eight beds. One unfathomable day after another. Did you know the word agony comes from the Greek—agon, an assembly or mass of people together. Isn’t that how we got here? Too many of us in one place together? Or was it not enough of us paying attention? We imagined an early spring, the forsythia yellow with ambition. “On pleasant days, Park visitors flock here for picnics, sunbathing, and games.” The winter was especially mild in Manhattan this year. Still, we have been counting the days until the shy green stubble would begin to sprout from the dirt in that long-ago-pasture now site of games. Games? I wonder if the patients as they lie in their narrow beds in the middle of this improbable meadow hear the flocks of cedar waxwings and purple finches at dawn. Wake up. Wake up. Does birdsong drown out the sirens or the whisper of machines breathing in and out. Together and alone.

Portrait of Sima Rabinowitz
Sima Rabinowitz

Sima Rabinowitz lives in the Bronx, New York, where she works as a freelance science and business writer and editor. Her poem “There” appeared in Poets Resist. This is her third appearance in Slag Glass City.

SLAG GLASS CITY · Volume 6  · May 2020
Header image by Ryan Hallock