“The New Year” by Natay Belachew

Natay Belachew ‘27

Winner- Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize

It was back in November
Soon to be December
The new year to come
And the worst year to come

It all started normal
But that quickly changed

First to go were the stocks
Then the house supplies
But before we were ready
The virus was upon us

There were conflicting arguments
On the existence of the virus
But not one message was more common
Than wear a mask

The country was divided
A crack down the middle
They fought in all ways possible
As if the people were at war

In the depths of the crack
Was the core of the darkness
That had yet to come

Then came the election
Which was no help at all
Although in the end
The right party
Was one size too small

There was no break
No one minute breather
The sins of our past
Had come back to haunt us

There had always been hope
Ever since the beginning
The hopes of a weapon
That might hit the breaks
On this horrid operation

As a sword is to Man
A vaccine is to Covid

But our vaccination rate
Was not high enough

And through it all
The division had not diminished
But reasons for fighting
Was now not the same

The weapon to end
Had sparked a quarrel

Vaccines were pushed back
And the light seemed so far away

And here I am still learning online
Although at the beginning of summer
We all thought we would see the light

It was back in November
Soon to be December
The new year has come
The dark year has come