Coronavirus Update: April 10

05-09-20 // Poetry - Appalachia

Lisa Hayes-Minney


Author’s Note: Last week, the federal government transferred new prisoners to our local federal prison for quarantine. Thursday, May  7, four had tested positive for coronavirus, doubling the county’s current cases. West Virginia began re-opening on May 4. 


Wasn’t here officially in January,
when Tammi died unexpectedly
of respiratory complications
in a rural 21-bed hospital
ten months after her mastectomy.

Nor, officially in February,
when Yolanda suffered alone
three weeks up the hollow
in her tiny camper crying
after being told, “it’s not the flu.”

Not early March, officially,
when Big William lost twelve pounds
from fevered sweats,
dry hacking, crippling aches,
in his cellar house bedroom
away from his aged parents
who rely on his help.

Not ‘til March 17 officially,
here in West Virginia.
Not here officially,
in our county now.


Lisa Hayes-Minney

Lisa Hayes-Minney is a rural librarian in central West Virginia, where confirmed cases of the virus have recently doubled--just as the stay-at-home orders are being lifted. Lisa holds an MFA in Creative Writing and owns her own artisanal publishing business. Follow her on Instagram @2lane.librarian, or visit her web site at