Elizabeth Hancock Reveals Eyam Plague Village, poem by Jordan Trethewey at Spillwords.com

Elizabeth Hancock Reveals Eyam Plague Village

Elizabeth Hancock Reveals Eyam Plague Village

(the Original Case for Social Distancing)

written by: Jordan Trethewey



Reverend Mompesson is right.
It is easy to blame George Vicars,
for ordering the blighted bolt of fabric.
A silent curse on his freshly-filled grave.

Hands shovel, sweat, and blister—
Alone, I cover my sixth child of seven
this week behind a low, stone wall.
Husband no longer of Earthly use.

In death, as in life, he lead the way.
The first laid to rest
along modest memorial row
near Riley House Farm.

Villagers left standing—
now caregivers squeaking panic,
festering like rats
under command of the pulpit:

“Spare your fellow man!
Keep cloistered, dear Eyam,
this pestilence too, shall pass.
We will meet our neighbours again

on the other side.”
I spit on the tailor’s grave
daily at the designated hour
for pick-ups and drop-offs

at Mompesson’s Well.
Replenish vinegar
to cleanse payment coins,
retrieve food and medicine.

“Children! Bury your own
during these bubonic times,”
the new reverend pleads
during Cucklett Delf open-air worship.

“Do unto others…” the rector begs.
No one objects
isolationist orders from a man
who just entombed his wife.

Jordan Trethewey

Jordan Trethewey

Jordan Trethewey is a writer and editor living in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He is also a husband, father (to two kids, a black cat, and a Sheltie) and beer-league softball player. Some of his poetry, fiction and non-fiction inhabits publications such as Visual Verse, Fishbowl Press, Red Fez, Anti-Heroin Chic, Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, Terror House Magazine, Califragile, Jerry Jazz Musician and Spillwords. Jordan is the current poet laureate for the city of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He is an editor at Red Fez, and openartsforum. His latest book, Spirits for Sale, is available on Amazon. His poetry has also been translated in Vietnamese and Farsi. To see more of his work go to his WordPress site - Selected Works of Jordan Trethewey.
Jordan Trethewey

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