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COVID-19 Archive

Images and Stories from Vermont

Ebb Tide

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Ebb Tide-McMeekin.pdf


Ebb Tide


This poem was written on March 19, 2019 shortly after Gov. Scott declared his state of emergency.


Rebecca McMeekin


March 19, 2019


Rebecca McMeekin

Spatial Coverage


In February 2020 we listened to warnings from our dear friend Dr. Milt Fowler, read newspaper articles and started to contemplate a world drastically changed by a virus spreading like wildfire. Across the country, governors rose to fill the leadership vacuum left by the president and his administration.

In mid-March, Vermont Governor Phil Scott declared a state of emergency to help ensure the state had all the necessary resources to respond to this evolving threat. On March 24 he issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order and directed the closure of in-person operations for all non-essential businesses.

Suddenly music halls and theaters, businesses and daycare centers were closed. Borders were secured and travel plans were put on hold indefinitely. Concerts, poetry readings, festivals, summer theater series, and county fairs were canceled. Even the Tunbridge Fair was canceled for the first time in a century.

I returned from work on March 17 and made a pledge to stay home. My husband made trips as needed to the grocery store and post office. Zoom chats, emails, socially distanced walks and phone calls kept us connected to friends and family.

Writing poetry seemed a good way to document and process an unprecedented time, and so mornings were dedicated to writing. The poems are very personal reflections — frustration and anger, joy and gratitude. They’re all honest and grounded in life on Braintree Hill for the 10 weeks beginning in Mud Season through the end of May.

Restrictions are easing, but the future is uncertain. All that has been written and photographed, painted and composed during these months will help illumine this period in world history for future generations. I imagine our children and grandchildren reading these poems written during a pandemic in “the olden days.”




Rebecca McMeekin, “Ebb Tide,” COVID-19 Archive, accessed June 16, 2024,