In the Time of Pandemic

snake

The reception line presented like a coiled snake settling in for the strike.

Like the rings of red, yellow and black on the snake’s back –

The men, women, and even a child or two,

are distanced apart

as prescribed by the X’s on the pavement.

At the head of the apex of the line
stands the widow in black (no red or yellow), veiled and suited.

At this moment, words are the only way to express sorrow.

Hugs are not allowed.

Somehow, this interaction does not suffice.

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Parallels

George

Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it – George Santayana

1918                                       2020

Pandemic                            Pandemic

War                                        Unrest

Suffrage                               Suffering

 

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Pink

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Blank heavy bond papers bound with spirals to keep them collected
A box of twenty-four colors – most of them still unused
A young, very young, imagination
“Draw with me”

Doughnuts with sprinkles
Fairies with wings
Unicorns with rainbows
Elephants with ears
Paper dolls with dresses
Fishes with tails
Flowers with petals

The pink waxy goodness is mostly depleted

A young, very young, imagination
“A box with just pink – wouldn’t that be convenient?”

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Gracie

Gracie1

The wetness of her black nose and

The warmth of her brown eyes

Tells me she is fine and

Challenges me to deserve her trust

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Privilege

I try to live in peace
Acknowledging the privilege I inherited by the color of my skin.
My faith asks me to do to others as I would expect them to do to me.
I work hard on this. Every day.

My life matters

Your life matters

God put us each here for a specific purpose.
Despite the turmoil in the world today,
I open my eyes and see
Queen Anne’s Lace,
Red and black berries, and
Faint purple blossoms of the crepe myrtle.

I open my ears and hear
Gray herons on the hunt
Woodpeckers making a home, and
Rustling pine trees in an unexpected, for June, breeze.

I open my soul and feel
Sorrow  for my fellow humans,
Desire to make it better, and
Peace I long to share with you.

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For better or worse

Shelter+in+place+order1

Sheltered together
After thirty-seven years
Is challenge to truth

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3 North

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Elaine sits stoically
at the chipped pentagon shaped table
in 3 North.

One floor above,
in 4 North,
her daughter paces a walkway – also chipped.

Astonishingly, her mother is also here –
in a brick and mortar wing
reserved for the terminally ill
yet indefinitely incarcerated.

About seven miles
to the west
Elaine’s son hangs his fingers lazily
on chain link topped in coiled barbs.

The lineage of her family tree
is locked
behind concrete block, glass windows and metal wire.

It began in 7th grade.

An adolescent’s argument
with a teacher
in a struggling school of repeaters
allowed Elaine
to find other ways to get an education.

Today, she faces me.

Pencil and paper in hand,
she struggles to complete a seven-sentence paragraph
about a habit in her life
she desires to change.

Tears drop silently onto her paper
as she wrestles
to organize details
that can be the evidence
she will break this cycle
of incarceration
and free her grandchildren
from the ancestry
which has been their story thus far.

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Virus Verse

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Alone I continue to be in self-quarantine,
nothing more to do than some verses glean.

Using the words neglected thus far,
I hope to pen a poem that raises the bar.

Last night in the wee morning hour
I penned my first six lines with rhyming power.

I had a word in a sentence rhyming with rock,
but now, oh dear, I’ve awakened with writer’s block.

The words to consider are grapefruit, jolly, flippant
odd, truth, and oh yes, esssse, should be sufficient

to create short poems for you…
Haiku

Ripe ruby red chunks
Plunging a spoon delivers
Grapefruit to my eyes

Confined to my home
Tends to limit resources
Considered jolly

From five seven five
Poems are generated
Flippantly composed

Odd, odd, even, odd
Fibonacci would be proud
Three, five, eight, thirteen

Telling the whole truth
Before judgment of the court
Means time with bars

Ashes drawn from esssse
Remind me that I am dust,
to dust I return.

 

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Fall Leaves

falleaves

Leaves explode from tires

Like shot from a 12-gauge gun

Scatter the pavement

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Under the Bridge

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Ensconced under the bridge in makeshift shelters of salvaged rusty metal
like rolling stones that gather no moss

No roots
Free
Careless
Avoiding responsibility

Nearby moss appears as an innovator
attached to buttresses supporting the weight of the world above

Rooted
Burdened
Sad
Accountable

The moss appears to
challenge the rust
to stay alive and avoid immobility

 

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