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An Onslaught, a Poem by Melanie Han

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

For the collection: 'Life in the time of #COVID'

An Onslaught - Modern Contemporary Poetry


“Hyo-In, your dad and I think you should cancel your Spring Break trip to Morocco.”

“No, Mom, we already booked everything. We’ll be fine, we’re all young and healthy.”


Boston - Lisbon - Madrid - Marrakech: Getting lost in the windy streets of medinas. Eating lamb tagines and drinking mint tea. Architecture of the Old City. Warm weather.

Sahara Desert Tour: Berber camping, camel trekking, sandboarding, stargazing.




Fes - Chefchaouen - Tangier: Whispering “corona, corona,” fake coughing at me while ushering siblings out of my way, spitting in my direction, hitting me with cardboard boxes, yelling at me to “go back to where I came from.”

Tangier - Madrid - Lisbon - Boston: Wary travelers wearing masks.

Sudden onslaught of information: “Covid-19.” “Coronavirus.” “Novel coronavirus.”

“Stay at home. Wash your hands.”

“The College has made the difficult decision to transition all in-person classes to online learning for the remainder of the spring term.”

“Babe, I got laid off. Sorry. I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to pay rent.”

“Hyo-In, your dad and I got kicked out of the grocery store today because the locals didn’t want ‘virus spreaders’ shopping with them.”

“CDC.” “Unemployment.”

“Although we have been thinking creatively about meaningful tasks to keep the office busy, unfortunately, we may not have enough remote work to keep you all over the coming weeks.”

“Deaths." ”WHO.”



“Stay at home.” “Corona.” “Wash your hands.”

“We don’t know when this will end.” “Corona.”


Watch Valiant Scribe in conversation with Melanie Han on her poem:


Melanie Han is an avid traveler and a poet who was born in Korea, grew up in East Africa, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing in Boston. She has won awards from 'Boston in 100 Words' and 'Lyric', and her poetry has appeared in several magazines and online publications, such as 'Fathom Mag', 'Ruminate', and 'Among Worlds'. During her free time, she can be found eating different ethnic foods, studying languages, or visiting new countries.


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