The A1 Verse: Tragedy from Texas to Transylvania

By Thomas Gaulkin | July 27, 2020

Illustration by Syaibatul Hamdi

Every so often, a story in the New York Times is so well written, meaningful, and appropriate to the Bulletin‘s concerns that small snippets of it, properly chosen and arranged, produce something more than journalism, something that approaches … poetry. That blessed coincidence occurred today, July 27, 2020.

We suspect it’ll occur again.


Adapted from the front page of the New York Times on July 27, 2020:
‘You Do the Right Things, and Still You Get It’, by Sheri Fink;
Virus Cuts Off Global Lifeline Aiding Millions, by Peter S. Goodman

You do the right things

Elaine Roberts tried to be so careful.
She put on gloves,
stopped riding the bus
to work,
wore masks.
She stacked products
on shelves,
helped people
to their cars,
retrieved carts.
The grocery store only posted signs.

Flavius Tudor shared the money made in England
with his mother in Romania,
cash to buy medicine.
The flow reversed —
high fever and persistent cough.
His mother reached into her pension,
from a lifetime as a librarian
in one of Europes’ poorest,
and sent cash to her son
in one of the wealthiest lands on earth.
He said: “I’m lost.”

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