“The Switcheroo” — A new poem by Rob Crisell

By Rob Crisell

We flattened the curve,
The hospitals thrived,
We gave up our rights,
And tried to survive.

For two months and counting,
We followed the rules. 
They shut down our beaches,
Our shops, and our schools;

They shuttered our churches;
We sheltered in place,
We praised first responders,
Wore masks on our face.

We did our part well, 
Resigned to our fate. 
And then they explained:
“Now shut up and wait.

“Because we don’t trust 
You to act properly,
Your freedom’s on hold,
Well, indefinitely.

“But please don’t complain!
We’ll give it back soon,
Though not by mid-May
Or even late June.

“Your savings are gone,
Your business is, too.
You’re drunk and depressed,
The rent’s overdue. 

“But after you’re safe
From this horrible scourge,
When testing is done
And new treatments emerge,

We’ll finally restore all
Those freedoms we seized.
So no need to worry—
Till the next big disease.”

Author: admin

Rob Crisell is an author, actor, teacher, and Shakespearean in Temecula, CA. He teaches poetry and Shakespeare with the Murrieta Valley Union School District as part of its Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program. He is a Shakespeare lecturer with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He has acted in The Merchant of Venice, Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), Baskerville, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Tempest (Prospero), Macbeth, Othello (Iago), and others. Over the quarantine, he has acted in Much Ado About Nothing and Merry Wives of Windsor (with Nathan Agin’s “A Working Actor’s Journey production) and King Lear (Quarantine Players). He has written and performed several one-man plays featuring Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Shakespeare in America. He’s the author of Shakespeare’s Book of Wisdom: Advice on Living a Wiser, Happier Life from William Shakespeare & Friends (DePortola Press 2018). His 2016 TED Talk is “How NOT to Hate Shakespeare.” His verse adaptation of Sophocles’ Electra will be produced by Full Circle Players in Riverside, California in October 2020. He is a graduate of Yale University and George Mason University Law School. For details, visit www.robcrisell.com or www.facebook/robcrisellactor/.

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