Poetry by Sarah Henry

My Etsy Order Shipped, by Sarah Henry

I ordered a mask

on Etsy.

It will cover

my mouth

and nose,

those lethal

weapons.

The virus spreads.

In ICUs, patients

choke in bed,

tied down.

The mask left

San Francisco

two days ago.

It was made

by someone

who shares

my first name.

She found a need

and filled it

with dispatch.

The mask will

move by air

across the country,

over the Rockies

and venues

of small concern.

Look, on the Plains

they’re healthy!

Then comes Detroit,

where morgues

are crammed as

Queens and Philly

tremble.

The mask will

land in my

Pittsburgh

ZIP Code.

When I wear it,

my grocer

and pharmacist

won’t be targets

of a suicide

bomber at war.

Sarah Henry studied with two former U.S. poet laureates at the University of Virginia. Today, she is retired from a newspaper. Her poems appear in the American Writers Review, Rue Scribe, Pure Slush, Perspectives, The Writers Club (Grey Thoughts), and other journals. Sarah lives and writes in a small Pennsylvania town.

Interview with Sarah Henry

  1. How long have you been making art?
  2. Is art your full-time job? If not, what is?
  3. What inspired this work?
  4. What writers or artists inspire you and your work?
  5. Where can we find your recent or future work?

6. What would you advise those interested in seriously pursuing art?

1. I have been writing since high school. Afterward, I went on to attend the
University of Virginia and studied with poet laureates Robert Hass and
Louise Glück.
2. This is my full-time job since retiring from a newspaper.
3. “My Etsy Order Shipped” relates to personal necessity. I ordered a mask
online from Etsy in order to avoid leaving the safety of my home to
buy a mask in a store.
4. I find Pound and Eliot essential. My other favorites are Ginsberg,
Bukowski, and Billy Collins since they are entertaining to read and funny—even Ginsberg at times. Today’s poetry needs more humor.
5. Two of my recent poems can be found online. “Christmas Cards” appears
in Writing in a Woman’s Voice. Down in the Dirt published
my poem “Copyright” in May 2020. “Venus Flytrap” is forthcoming in the June issue of Perspectives Magazine. Pure Slush will include “Trinkets” in the Beautifullest print
edition.

6. If you are a poet, read some poetry every day. Read nonfiction. Read
newspapers. To make submissions, utilize an online marketplace like the Submission Grinder or Duotrope. Take care of your physical health as if you are a tournament chess player. It will help your timing.