Quarantine times

Forty days isolation,
that’s how it used to be
for Venetian plague ships,
quaranta giorni;
forty days for new mums,
impure until churched,
forty days for Jesus
in the wilderness,
forty days for fasting
in the time of Lent,
forty days of penance:
that’s how long they spent.

So stop your moaning
when told to quarantine:
it’s only fourteen bloody days,
not half a lifetime.


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