Melissa Gettinger

Melissa Gettinger
1 Poem

plague world

in june i reach my limit of
tolerance for covidiot-cy.

i carry comfort mantras
to insulate my shell.
it’s ok.
lying on the bed staring up
maybe i am already dead.
silencing the screaming inside me.
eating to sate the emptiness.
it’s ok.
what day is it?

just for now.
unwashed dishes
boxes still stacked and crowded in
the aftermath of the basement flood.
for now because when this wall of grief thaws
it will be a roaring river
for now my eyes won’t cry. my sense of shock value
is dull as stone. i’m dry as bleached bones in
a forgotten desert.
surely the days of my cancer paved this limbo road
for me.
but now is not the same.
we cannot safely hold each other and some of us
are cracking on the indifference of those who just can’t
be bothered to care.
for now will never be the same as before.
i’m being the change i want to see in the world.
i stay home.



Melissa Gettinger has recently returned to the poetry life after a long hiatus. She was born in Wichita, KS but grew up in South Dakota, where she was encouraged by her teachers to write poetry and participate in workshops. Thrilled to be published in Prairie Winds newsletter in her teens, she kept writing and reading her work through college and eventually in Minneapolis, MN, where she was a member of the Mpls All-Stars. The highlight of that was an visiting mentorship with the Nuyorican poets from the Nuyorican Cafe in NYC. This included a visit to the home of Jim Northrup (a noted Native poet) on the Black Bear reservation during January. She read in the dive bars but worked her way up to the main stage at First Avenue. Slam poetry was exciting but not the best fit. After more than a decade of not writing or reading in public, she found her way back with the help of a friend several years ago and is currently establishing her voice in Wichita. Reading e.e. cummings’ poetry enlightened her that not all poetry has to rhyme but if it does, that’s just fine.