Since the city shut down several weeks ago, I’ve had to get used to living in more isolation than usual. My parents, one of whom is still working outside the home, are totally stressed and anxious. I wrote the following poem for them:
These Days Are Long But Fruitful (When Push Comes to Shove)
This is a time of unknowns
a moment when we haven’t got a clue
as to what’s next
or where we’ll find ourselves
in the next six weeks.
But I ask this of you now:
have me in mind
when you feel so overwhelmed
that’s it’s all you can do
to get up in the morning
put on yesterday’s clothes
face the morning with a false optimism
that you’ve nurtured for the past twenty-four hours
and help me through the next twenty four
as my world has shrunk to these four walls.
I feel your frustration and your impatience
your overt protection of my sacred life –
the one others said was not as worthy as
those unencumbered by difference –
the one you didn’t ask for.
In our joint hearts
Our mutual survival beats with a fierceness
that rivals the atom bomb.
Let’s mask everything but our spirits
our drive to survive
a lust for a new dawn rising
when we all come together again
when we create a new normal
and my spirit tucks itself under your wings again.
I know these days are hard for all of us, but they are especially difficult for those of us who rely on routines and the expected. Please have extra patience for us as we get accustomed to being ourselves but in a new world.