Peer Review by Purple Pizza (India)

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A Venn Diagram of These Two Pandemics (please read message box!)

By: journal.scribbles


I’m not sure whether this needs a tw, but it’s on the topic of racism and recent events. 

I’ve been socially distancing for longer than I thought, 
but I caught the virus before I was born. 
I’d put on a mask of polite 
I’ll just get out of your way 
and knocked potato chip bags to the floor as I avoided 
this unknown walking down the grocery aisle. 
This unknown, they may be dangerous, maybe, 
so I’d step back to let them pass,
and I’d pass by without knowing that I’m the dangerous one. 

Only now as I see people get sprayed in the eyes
and shoved to the ground fighting the virus I inherited from
the founding fathers of our world, I see 
how deadly it is. 
Because we hold these lies to be self-evident that 
people who don’t look like us aren’t people, 
and people who aren’t people never look like us.
So as I walk down grocery aisles now,
 and every interaction is avoidance, 
and every thought is 
will this person have the virus? will they be the one to kill me? 
I get a tiny glimpse of the hospital bed that I should’ve been in. 
Why didn’t I get treated until now? 

If someone hadn’t been there to watch
a man die with another’s knee to their neck, 
would I have gone on carrying this virus? 
Even if I had been asymptomatic, 
could I have spread it to another knee on a neck? 
Fear is a side effect of one pandemic taking lives, 
but it’s the cause of the other. We’re all cowards, 
but I’m ready to take the journey towards being cured.

WtW is a super diverse and accepting community that I’m proud to be a part of and I’ve seen so many powerful pieces with the message to stop judging others by the color of their skin. I feel sick to my stomach to have to admit that I think I may have had some racist views of people. Reading these pieces on this website has definitely helped me open my eyes to the problem. So thank you, so so much, for inspiring me to write this piece and making me feel comfortable publishing it. I might not be the best teenage activist, but I hope this piece helps someone in the way so many other pieces have helped me. 

Message to Readers

So I know I've already republished this a few times, and I appreciate the likes it has gotten so far, but I'm curious as to why nobody has commented anything. This probably sounds needy and self-absorbed, but is there a reason there are no comments? This is one of the most vulnerable poems I've written and published, so I'd definitely appreciate feedback. If this poem was insensitive to anyone in any way, I'd really like to know. Thanks!

Peer Review

EVERYTHING surprised me and moved me. I won't say I was delighted. It's sad that even today black people aren't allowed to hold their heads high everywhere, but I'm proud that they do. I am proud of my sisters and my brothers. I am proud of my friends and my family. The uncanny resemblance of the germ of indifference and the actual virus envelopes me still, as I write this. Awesome work on this piece- your writing style is passionate and strong. It's touching, it's sad, and it's a call to action.

How will you take the "journey towards being cured?" What's your motive and your method? Maybe include it in your footnotes? I would really like to know the story after the world realizes they've been doing it all wrong.

Reviewer Comments

Writing must inspire've done just that. Today you've inspired me and definitely others who have read this piece. Congratulations! Let's take action.