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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2217383
by Leea
Rated: E · Poetry · Other · #2217383
poems, feelings, thoughts, insights, and experiences from around the world









Global Insides

during COVID-19








The global pandemic struck me, a virtual Vesuvius of verbosity, dumb. My emotions were as tangled as a ball of yarn thrown into a running clothes dryer--worry for my children, fear for my own life, shame for my fear, and gratitude for family, friends, artists, scientists, neighbors, bathroom tissue (shame again for having extra), and bags and bags of quinoa and rice. With news and social media exacerbating the anxiety and confusion, I reached out for the only remedy I could imagine . . . poetry. I asked my friends from around the world what was in their hearts and their minds and what they had experienced, and they, word by word and emotion by emotion, untangled my mess. "I feel that too," I thought again and again, tears a streaming. The more I read, the more I felt compelled to share that catharsis with others, with you.
                                                           Leea




Jos/B>
Age: 60
From: Santos, Brazil
Lives: Porto Alegre, Brazil
Written: March 17, 2020



New Room

Perhaps
for the first in our life time,
we are ALL under attack,
no matter the geography
no matter the creed
no matter the abilities,Â
FEAR has been installed all over the planet
but it must not prevail,
Perhaps
this pervasive sense of vulnerability
can enact new fashions of solidarity
and,
hopefully, Â
create room for a new
inclusive, inclusive, inclusive
model of prosperity.Â















Tracy Yu
Age: 18
From: Guangdong, China
Lives: New York City
Written: March 18, 2020


Hey, Coronavirus

I've always dreamed of a day
a day free from school
and that day arrived

unexpectedly
because of you,
when everyone rushed to purchase tickets back to China,
when everyone put on face masks and goggles,
when everyone hoarded food and toilet paper,
and anxiety arrived

unexpectedly
because of you,
an anxiety that made me think about life

and death
and revealed panic behind my seemingly brave face,
still, I thank you,
you made me realize life is so precious and fragile,
you taught me how to seek light through loneliness,
you reminded me I have a family so far away,

yet so close in my heart.












Amar
Age: 33
From: India
Lives: Connecticut
Written: March 20, 2020



                             On the front lines of the pandemic
                             
Being a soldier in the frontlines in this war against this invisible enemy, I am angry and anxious about when and how this pandemic will end. I am scared and baffled by the ignorance of my leaders who ignored scientific data and listened instead to their own gut feelings--putting millions of lives at stake.

I am also worried every day as my loved one goes to work at the hospital each day to take care of sick people. Going to work in a hospital without protective equipment is like going to war without ammunition and proper protection.

I don't fear my own mortality, but I worry about the lives of my children, two little buds that have barely had the chance to blossom.





















Elec
Age: 38
From: Ohio Valley
Lives: Canton, Ohio
Written: March 18, 2020


What's the Plan?

I'm trying to motivate others
to live their best lives,
motivate others to see the beauty and joy,
motivate others . . .
So, it's hard for me to show weakness
or nervousness
or fear,
and I'm not afraid
because I know
this is going to pass,
We're going to be all right,
but
deep deep deep
inside,
I want to ask God, "Why is this happening?"
I want to ask God, "Can I see your plan, God?"
People are losing money,
They have no way to survive,
Even if they know it's going to get better,
they have no food to put in their kids' mouths,
The devil in people is going to come out,
People are going to start robbing each other and acting a fool,
and you will punish them,
you will punish us, God,
Why do you want to make people crazy and act a fool,
and then punish us?
I know you want us to trust you,
but why, God, do you let it get to this point?
Still, I will keep the faith,
It will get better and we will see our faith was our strength,
Yeah, I have questions and even concerns,
but it's not fear,
This will pass,
It will all come back, the jobs will come back, money will come back,
I think it's God asking us if we trust in him,
I do,
I trust,
My back's been against the wall ever since I was a kid,
We were poor,
ramen noodles and put some ground turkey in it and that's a meal,
some toast and that's a meal,
I'm not there now,
I've saved,
and now I am trying to help other people,
All the negativity on TV,
People need to stop watching the TV and reposting,
We need to do what we're told,
We need to keep our social distance,
and most of all, we need to stay positive,
Our positivity
can
get that dude named Corona out of here,
I'm not afraid,
I know everything will work,
But I do have one question to ask God:
Why?




















Keith
Age: 40
From and Lives: Belfast
Written: March 20, 2020

Parent Alert:
in anticipation
of videos showing perfect little home-schooling set ups,
idyllic day trips out,
incredibly inventive arts & craft session,
have just blown up at my daughter,
who absolutely didn't deserve my anger,
incessantly crying
because the paper bag given from nursery ripped,
I was wrong,
apologised,
still feel like shit,
It's ok to feel like you don't got this,
It's ok to not have good days,
if you don't have that perfect little homeschool set up,
in fact, it's perfectly healthy.
I am frightened about what the future holds,
gonna try my best to be strong,
sometimes I'm not,
it's ok that occasionally my children see me that way,
in fact, it's perfectly healthy.








Lou
Age: doesn't tell
From: Puerto Rico
Lives: Chicago
Written: March 23, 2020


          Do you hear?

no cars
no airplanes
no trains
I hear nothing

no slamming doors
no buzzer
no footsteps
I hear nothing

no guidance
no reassurance
no humility
I hear nothing

dogs barking
kids laughing
birds singing
I hear life.












Dr. Gary, M.D.
Age: XX
From: South Africa
Lives: Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Written: March 22, 2020

Impacting Us All
The situation with the virus has enveloped us all,
so rampant,
this viral onslaught
has impacted all of our lives,
viral infections have been around forever
influenza, colds,
what makes this virus different?
much more contagious and infectious,
we haven't developed immunity,
slightly more severe than influenza,
we think there's a much larger percentage of the population that has not been tested,
This is probably the tip of the iceberg,
but we know what it is, we know how to test, we can clean the environment,
and people get better,
you can improve your immune system,
you are not defenseless.







Sara
Age: 30
From and Lives: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Written: March 20, 2020

                             
                             A reminder
The whole world, including Saudi Arabia, is living in extraordinary circumstances which have forced us to temporarily put our activities and our dreams on hold.
Months ago, we started hearing about the Coronavirus on the news and through social media, but now we are all under attack by the same virus. Now, major measures are being taken to stop the spread of the disease, and suddenly, everything in our country is shuttered.
The silence is overwhelming--the schools, streets, airports, restaurants, and malls, and it's a huge challenge for us. What is worse, though, is that the holy mosques are suspended when we need them most. This is the first time we have ever experienced something like this.
A tiny virus has spread all over the world infecting and killing people. We are living through a trial that will go down in history.
On other hand, there is a bright side to this tribulation. As believers of Allah, we are sure that Allah doesn't want to punish us. It could be a reminder or a mercy from him because he wants us to truly go back to him. Now the majority of us are returning to Allah. Back to Allah doesn't mean that we shouldn't take necessary precautions to protect ourselves and others from this disease. It means it's important to avoid panicking, and it is imperative to fully place our trust in Allah.











Francesco
Age: 33
From and Lives: Rome
Written: March 17, 2020


leaning into isolation
all work and no play,
will I be Jack in one day?
there's something we can do,
self-actualize, me, you,
make peace with your enemy
sit, talk with your family
life sometimes needs a shift
what is tragedy
is also a gift.




















Mariana
Age:
From: Montevideo, Uruguay
Lives: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Photo Taken: March 24, 2020

Andy's Coming

A Man Lies in a formerly busy street in Buenos Aires.






Augusto
Age: 49
From and Lives: Nicaragua
Written: March 18, 2020




virus?

today
for us
for Nicaragua
the virus can't compare
to the terror
of Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo,
sending their followers to march in the streets,
to intimidate the people
and to welcome the corona virus
to Nicaragua,
free country.
















Charlie
Age: 44
From: Ontario
Lives: San Francisco
Written: March 17-20, 2020





Charlie posts
Rich teenagers
here in my neighborhood
like Children of Men,
roaming the trails in horny packs
baring their teeth at the old people that pass by them
with cans of white claw in hand
couldn't give a shit about any 'shelter at home' order,
I yell,
telling them that they aren't even of age to drink that shit
hard seltzer my ass
more like wine coolers for the now,
Math-haters out there whining about the supposed over-reaction,
Almost like when the colonists ran roughshod over America with smallpox
only this time the wild cowboys are 20-29-year-olds
and America are the boomers,
Africa . . . mad at their billionaires too,
All on the shoulders of the care workers, family, friends and community, as Boris says, which is mostly code for "women,"
Sobering,
Stay creative.






Amani
Age: 32
From: U.S./Palestine
Lives: Milwaukee
Written: March 19, 2020

Unknown

Their voices still reverberate in my ears:

"Why aren't we closed?" I don't know, I'm not in charge.
"Why don't you have sanitizer?" I don't know why the shelves are empty.
"Why is the virus so dangerous?" I don't know, but that's a good research question!

Their nerves were raw, making them feisty and irritable, even more so than normal.

It's Friday, the 13th. The unlucky date could be antagonizing the behavioral problems. That was my teacher's superstition, but I knew the truth; they were afraid of: Â

Illness
Contamination
News
The Unknown

They were used to me having all the answers, but now there was so much unknown, and what we didn't know was that Friday, March 13th, would be the last time we saw each other.

I miss each of those 180 feisty and irritable, yet loving and comical, teenagers who made even the worst days better.

The unknown continues, and their fears have evolved:

"When will school open again?" I don't know.
"When can I turn in my assignments?" I don't know.
"What am I supposed to do now?" I don't know.

As their teacher, I want to have answers for them. I can give them bits of information, but the big question that remains throughout this entire ordeal, from both students and teacher:

Why is this happening?
Shalom
Age: 49
From and Lives: Manila, Philippines
Written: March 23, 2020

I look through the window
and find my favorite tree
the one not felled in front
of a small, newly minted school,
It grazes in the wind
reminding me of a street lined
with many acacia trees
just like this one.
I pray something like a sun salutation
at high noon
only I am still like the sun
because I am tired
of the news of deaths
and living seems a crime
recalling your pure Italian smile
and how you never called
anymore.









Jaz
Age: 33
From: Neenah, Wisconsin
Lives: San Diego
Written: March 19, 2020




Abatement
The heart-rip isolation
          contemporary society was built to maintain
and capitalism was put in place to fix
for a second:
Right swipe it, drink it, buy it, wear it, watch it.

Like levers of momentary relief,
survival by distraction
for a minute:
Twist it, turn it, bop it, get it.

But here we are, hot kids,
pruning up in our collective prisons,
here's the introspection we ordered
for two weeks, now:
Fucking devour it, baby.

Choking on the first breath of sensationless air
in our caves, with ourselves
the digital lives we so rapaciously demanded
just a moment:
Here, there, and alone.

Air's thick so, let's choke on it
knee-jerk, throat-twist,
just me and my hoard,
for a lifetime:
Feel out what all of our motions were for.

Elazar
Age: 32
From: Tirat Carmel City, Israel
Lives: Tel Aviv
Written: March 19, 2020

                             Responsibility
                             
                             In Hebrew the word responsibility is "ACHERAUT,"
          which contains the word "ACHER,"
          meaning "OTHER,"
          How fascinating that the word "responsibility" itself
          emphasizes the feeling we should feel toward the other,
          toward others,
          Who is the other?
          What connection is there between me and others?
          Should I take care of him?Â
          Corona may teach us our human connection--
          we are all one,
          borders and boundaries have become nothing,
          Pray for good days.














Natalia
Age: XX
From: Moscow
Lives: Switzerland

The Crown Virus
Europe was like sleeping princess not imagining anything could interrupt her slumber. Economics and health systems ran smoothly--but what charming prince would swoop in and protect her the moment the coronavirus sneaked into the palace?
Elena, my ex-boss from Moscow, would learn the truth about how one could go from being treated like royalty to being worse than a pest in the enchanted kingdom.
She and her husband and children were enjoying their annual two-week vacation in the legendary ski resort in Ischgl, Austria, that boasted superior service, luxury spas, and apreski,
I usually accompanied her there, but with the coronavirus outbreak brewing and companies requiring workers to work remotely, we changed our plans and stayed home. Bored at home, I decided to check in with Elena and texted, "Is everything good?"
I immediately received a shocking reply. On Friday, after skiing they had gone back to the Hotel and were told, "All guests HAVE TO leave the hotel within one hour!" The hotel didn't even organize a taxi or other transportation to the train station, while it was 40 kilometers to the city with nearest airport. Elena and the mass of other tourists had to arrange everything on their own. Luckily, they jumped onto the last bus with all their luggage and ski equipment. The next step was trying to secure a ticket to Moscow. After a harrowing amount of wait-time and phone calls, they obtained their tickets and reached Moscow Monday at midnight, more than 48 hours after their abrupt removal from what had been their snowy mountainside haven.
Though Elena and her family were safe, their fairytale didn't exactly have a happy ending. What a lesson! You have to be prepared at all times in this world.




Kate
Age: 19
From and Lives: Milwaukee
Written: March 18, 2020


                             scraping
                             
                             i work at a liquor store,
                             it's essential, you know,
                             all types of people
         every day
                             two-dollar four-pack of beer people
                             are scraping
                             everything
                             they have
                             to get a full case
                             so they don't have to leave the house
                             so they don't have to go without
                             business increased with the hoarding
                             business dropped with the isolation,
                             the streets are empty and scary.















Jade
Age: 38
From: Iowa
Lives: Neenah, Wisconsin
Written: March 19, 2020


I hope I don't sound like an asshole

My guy makes single use plastic for food prep--
deemed essential,
they expect an increase in demand
with zero plans to close the plant,
I work in hospice
we're working triage by phone and making home visits--
obviously essential
unfortunately, also expecting an increase in demand,

we will be Italy if we don't do our parts,
we will be Italy if we don't flatten the curve,
not Rennaissance, great-wine-art Italy,
not-enough-respirators and can't-process-our-dead Italy
FLATTEN THE CURVE!

Yet people go out--
not at risk themselves,
IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU RIGHT NOW!
It's about that very long incubation period
spreading the virus to others,
WASH YOUR HANDS!
Cover your cough, stay home, call your primary,
self-quarantine unless your breathing declines,

Americans want everything immediately--
catered to and coddled
all of our needs fulfilled
lured by low-cost traveled fares
but right now, it must be about other people,

Doctors will make the hard choices--
whom to admit
whom to give ventilator or vapotherm
whom to allow to die.

Marcin
Age: 42
From and Lives: Warsaw, Poland
Written: March 19, 2020




Enemies

In Poland,
mighty, merciless enemies have been many,
striving to subdue us
to make this land their playground,
we survived and thrived
because we have stood together
in dark times,
close,
the greater the danger, the closer to each other we remained,
trusting one another,
now, we must stand together again,
but separately, far from one another,
with an invisible enemy
able to turn our neighbors, friends, loved ones
into angels of death,
this is new, frightening,
yet there is hope--
every enemy has a weak spot,
which our unity will uncover.














Jessica
Age: 39
From: Cologne, Germany
Lives: Hartford, Connecticut
Written:


In Unexpected Times
Â
You didn't know
how much it meant
to sit on the sofa
together
this afternoon
when you held up your book
begging me to read,
Â
My mind was
elsewhere
trying to glue together
the world
making a meal plan for
however long it takes
while all you wanted
was to wash the glitter off your hands
and sit under my blanket.













Anna and Yury
Age: 32,46
From: Moscow
Lives: Los Angeles
Written: March 19, 2020


TWENTY-TWENTY HINDSIGHT
Here we are in twenty twenty,
fictional tales approach actuality,
          our fingers touch only screens,
"Demolition Man" was more serene,
COVID on the tails of swine flu,
hunting wildly wildly for you
in the wake of ebola, avian too,
Oink-oink, cockle doo!
not to mention Mad Cow, moo!
All severe, all acute,
If you're prepared, I salute!












Kari
Age: 31
From: Sacramento, California
Lives: Oakland, California
Written: March 19, 2020

                             
                             Co-hab during Covid
A week before the San Francisco Bay Area issued a shelter-in-place order, my husband and I moved ourselves into an apartment. We were so busy with the move that we missed the memo on hoarding toilet paper. I like to use a squeeze bottle as a bidet, so that hasn't been an issue for me. My husband, on the other hand, said a squirt wouldn't work for him because his bits get in the way. Thankfully, my parents spotted us a few rolls.
I've had to cancel a date with one of my lovers. I was looking forward to showing him our new place, hoping he would want to move in with us, even though my husband prefers my newer lover because he seems more financially stable.
Lovers aside, the shelter-in-place order came as more of a relief than anything else. Events were canceled, so now we have time to adjust to our new routines. I work at home anyway, but I make "cowboy coffee" on the stove to send him off to his essential employment. We managed to score a two-quart saucepan and a ladle before stores shut down, so I've been using that multiple times a day for tea and soup, as well as the aforementioned coffee.
I've shown no symptoms, but we aren't sure if my husband's cold is Covid-19 or not. If there are any test kits in our county, they are not available to us. He was worried, so we took an excursion to a local medical lab, but when we arrived, nobody was in the office and a sign told us to go away if we were looking for Covid-19 tests. Fortunately, he seems to be recovering.
The shelter-in-place order allows for walks, so I take one daily because it is essential to my health and nobody else is on the sidewalks anyway. I'm sure anybody looking out their windows will judge me, but I learned early in life not to let that stuff get to me. After all, as a polyamorous woman with a husband and two lovers in the time of Covid-19, I've got enough on my mind.
For Cowboy Coffee: Fill a 2-quart pan with water, leaving a centimeter or two so it doesn't boil over, stick 1/2 cup grounds in water, bring to boil for a minute or two, turn heat off, let grounds settle to bottom, stick filter (tea infuser with washcloth rubber-banded around the outside) over a travel mug, ladle coffee into filter until it's almost full.
You get the idea.


George
Age: 83
From and Lives: Los Angeles
Written: March 17 and 18, 2020



George Takei tweets
Airlines can hold out longer than families. We need assistance to everyone, irrespective of job status.
A lot of folks are criticizing Trump's use of "Chinese virus" as racist, and rightly so. But the media needs to also step up and stop using images of Asian people wearing masks to depict the pandemic. We all need to do our part to combat ignorance and hate.
Then it crossed the borders and landed in planes and then got into churches and schools and gyms and trickled on down into some tragic pub where you, no doubt, picked it up so you could pass it to your 80-year-old grandmother.
When a great economic shock left the world reeling in the earlier part of the 20th century, far right parties took advantage of the chaos and despair. That led to Nazism and a devastating world war. The road ahead will be challenging. We must never forget the lessons of history.
And in the background, there are news reports of markets crashing and the Chinese blaming us while we blame them but meanwhile the case counts keep rising.
There have been five hate crimes perpetrated against Asian Americans in NYC alone since the coronavirus crisis began. Trump's ignorant rhetoric is dangerous because it stokes racial fear and violence. Call it out. Don't let it stand.
Only two things got this president to start taking the pandemic seriously: the collapse in stock prices and his empty hotels and golf courses. Now he thinks he's a "wartime president." What rubbish. President "Bone Spurs" never met a war he couldn't run from.
Oh, how you are missed, President Obama.





Eiji Sensei
Age: 50
From and Lives: Kyushu, Japan
Written: March 25, 2020

new chance
this will be difficult
people will lose jobs
food will be scarce
but what we have learned
by teleworking during this time
is that 8-5 is not necessary,
once this is all over
8-5 will be no more,
we will have a chance
to do things differently
to work from home,
around the world
our work life
will have changed forever.












Belinda
Age: 43
From: Midgeville, IL
Lives: Westminster, Colorado
Written: March 22, 2020





Sneaking out
disappointed
in my hometown church
won't cancel services
despite Illinois shelter-in-place order
90% of our congregation is at risk population
get your God through livestream, people!
even more disappointed I had to scold my 87-year-old father
for sneaking out of the house
          to go to church.

























Kristen
Age: 38
From and Lives: New Berlin, Wisconsin
Written: Friday, March 20, 2020


          Sunday Morning
                             A black canvas with yellow lines, otherwise blank
          stretches out to double doors made of wood and glass;
          Unopened.
          Word that traveled through time
          passed from the lips of the old to the ears of the young;
          Silent.
          Wicks brandishing sharp orange tongues
          from pillars of wax - light of life;
          Retreated.
          Still waters in a basin of thin cut granite
          returned to the earth;
          No more blessings left to give.
          "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"










Dr. Nana, M.D.
Age: 46
From: Yokohama, Japan
Lives: Maryland
Written: March 23, 2020

Not Sakoku!
A single virus can jeopardize societies and economies all over the world. Just a few weeks ago, everyone thought Covid-19 was only in a faraway city in China
Everyone thought it was not their story.
If a disaster hits somewhere, people from outside of the region feel sorry for the people living there, while it seems to them a story from a different world. At first, people around the world felt sorry for people living in Wuhan, China.
Still, nobody imagined it would be a world-wide problem.
I am Japanese, but currently, I live in the US, so I can see my country from a different angle. When the news of the infected cruise ship at Yokohama came out, Japan appeared to be one of the most dangerous countries, but a few weeks later, the situation changed dramatically. Now, there are more countries outside of Japan with severe conditions. Now, the US is one of the most dangerous countries, and people in the US are facing a really serious fight.
Recently, I've been seen that Japanese people are ignoring the fact that we are facing pandemic. Now, Japan is reporting fewer positive cases of COVID19 and many fewer deaths compared to other countries. in Only two weeks, the people of Japan have forgotten the disaster or potential disaster and are now acting as if they are living on a different planet.
It is really annoying to me. Japanese people should have a broader vision, and they should pay attention to what is going on in other parts of the world and consider what they can do to help. Maybe this is because of our introverted culture or maybe it's a problem with the shortsighted Japanese media, but in any case, it is disappointing for me to see my compatriots acting as if they are somehow different than other countries and immune to this global issue.
We are one world.





j.a.
Age: 69
From and Lives: Ontario, Canada
Written: March 22, 2020


hushed
the outside stillness infects
the silence growing inside
empty sidewalks and barren streets
echo holiday scenes without joy
commerce stands still amid the virulent fear
spring snow seen now as a pale rider
passing over us in judgement
as we cower in our shelters in place,

our cloistered prayers to god's ears.






















William
Age: 66
From: NYC, NY
Lives: Hyde Park, NY
Written: March, 2020


And I feel fine
The voices keep telling us to keep our distance,
don't get too close, or if you do, go wash your hands
for twenty minutes, scrubbing well until
the import of the threat becomes your real.
Store shelves look as if we've turned into
a war-torn country, a scarcity of basic stuffs,
like toilet paper. Toilet paper? How could hoarding
toilet paper save one from starvation?
Restaurant parking lots stand mostly vacant,
though some have take-out for the brave, the few
who risk encountering others closely in exchange
for burgers, fries and fresh-brewed coffee.
What day's today? I can't remember. Far too hard
to know when schedules, finely-honed, lay shredded
on the bedroom floor, where soiled apparel gathers,
scattered, and there's no rush to see them cleaned.
But there's still music to be savored, poetry
to read aloud, and paths to walk along in silence
as we rediscover who we are without the garb
of daily life to dress us, place us on display.










MistyRose
Age: 64
From: XX
Lives: Waylaid in Texas by the pandemic
Written: March 23, 2020


Way Beyond the State

What is the Name we follow?
Where are the cases?
Which hearts cross arrogant power?
Why, we are Christians, but not!
Who is in that number,
When the Saints go marching in?





























Yveline
Age: 37
From and Lives: Belgium
Written: Friday, March 20, 2020


Halt
The world is like a carrousel, grinding to a halt.
We're only noticing this now. Its spin was always there, just part of the way things were, so sure and omnipresent we barely felt it move, scarcely saw its lights.
But now it jolts, and slows.
There are people at the controls, where nobody ever hopes to find themselves in times as strange as these. They're shutting this bit down, then that, then finally, too late, always too late, telling us and everything to Stop. The big red button, never pushed in most of our lifetime.
They push it now.

People are never easy. We've always been so very human. There's those of us reading all the signs, following the rules. Keeping their hands and feet inside the ride at all times. And there's us idiots, trying to get off the ride, to stand up, hollering we're invincible, the ride must ride because if not it's not a ride.
The button is insane.
Only they're not idiots. Not really. They're just stubborn, or set on their way of riding, or not at all safe stuck on their own little horse, and they are all of them scared, scared of what a life without its gentle sway may hold. They've never seen the big red button before.
They'd rather it didn't exist.
We are on a carrousel, all of us together, and most of us have never seen it like this, tampered with in such a drastic way. But here we are, stuck on this ride together. The button has been pushed, the lever has been pulled, the machine trundles to a halt.
The people hold their breath.

And we tell our children it's fine. It's fine to smile, it's fine to add ribbons to the poles, to add a silly hat on top of the horse.
This too will end.
The halt will be jolted, distorted, wonky. It will be stretched out for days, for weeks, for months. We'll bring the strangest habits along.
Starting again will be slow.

Later, so much later, in a time we can only dream, we might forget about this curious time, that wonky dance, our slowing to a stop. We'll pour it all in numbers, in deaths, in papers and in facts.
Still, our ride will never be the same.



























Dani
Age: 24
From and Lives: Chicago
Written: March 25, 2020

better
we're resting and trees are still growing, tall and brave. we're pausing and the gray fog that suffocates our city is receding, day by day. we're stopping and the pigeons and squirrels and mice are still eating and playing and building and that's enough for them, it's always been enough. lake michigan is clear and healing and one day soon you'll dig your toes in the sand and feel so goddamn grateful. our cities are still and the mountains have never been happier,

you can't fix it but you can picture it, can't you, the way the sun will be shining, the table will be packed with people you love, you'll lean in close and linger late into the night because it's been so long. we'll work less and laugh more. we'll go to the doctor when we're hurting and rest when we're aching. we won't just tolerate each other, we'll feel for each other, feed each other, love each other so much more than we ever have. we'll give everything we don't need and be light with gratitude. we'll do less and have more,

you can't fix it today but you'll always remember: the world froze and the rain kept falling, the oceans kept spitting salt and air, the spring buds emerged, baby-green and hopeful. the world stopped and it was not the end.







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