This Too Shall Pass

Worldwide, we have lost 1,680,395 souls

To COVID-19

To date

In the US, 311,150.

These are not just numbers on a page

This is not mere data.

In March, when all this started to crystallize

When I had just started working from home

While walking the dog on one clear winter morning

In the bright white light of the new snow

Watching it fall on the black and red

Of my love’s insulated coat

This unseen virus

Had only begun

As had my what-if

Anxious ideas about the future.

A month previous

Or maybe mere weeks

Maybe days

Who remembers now

I sat in my boss’s office

At the nursing home

Where I played secretary

And let my fear show;

Wanting to know my expectations

If this thing found its way in our doors

I let my professional demeanor fall

Along with a few tears.

Working at home was acceptable

Until they decided it wasn’t

Even with an auto-immune disease

In the middle of a pandemic.

That was end of May.

Earlier that month

My son’s before and after-school daycare

Informed us they had confirmed

That prior to the shutdown

A pedophile was working there

Looking after my son

For months.

I sat him down

Asked some careful questions

Prayed I was asking them the right way

Was relieved he seemed untouched; unhurt.

Over the summer I got notice

Of a sex offender living in the neighborhood;

He’s in the group home one street over;

Our backyard looks into his.

We showed the kids his picture

With careful instructions to say something

If he ever came near.

And the pandemic continued to rage on.

The world continued to spin away

Out of control.

No, you can’t have your friends over.

No, we can’t go to Canada.

No, it’s too crowded there.

No, they don’t have a mask on.

No, the museum is closed.

No, you can’t go to back to school yet.

I don’t know.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Don’t touch that.

Use this hand sanitizer.

Do you have your masks?

Put a shirt on, it’s time for your Zoom class to start.

Now, it’s five days until Christmas.

I’m staring out my office window

Into my backyard

Which faces the sex offender’s backyard

Looking out at the new snow

Once again.

I do my best to steal quiet moments

To meditate

To fight my way through

The hoarded piles in my mind

To do whatever I can

To just be

And get through

Today.

I don’t usually smoke

But this lovely little

Emerald green, art deco ash tray

Asked me to.

I said yes.

What’s it like where you are?

What goes on behind your mask?

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