the season of hope,
and my grandson Elliot
would soon have a birthday —
his first. I couldn’t wait to see him.
I had my ticket. Flight 351. April 24.
Then, like a giant evil raptor, the pandemic
swooped in, wrecking havoc across continents.
The world was shocked. Thousands fell ill. Many died.
I cancelled my trip. Elliot would have to wait to see Grandma.
People are saying: “It feels like a sci-fi movie,” and “This is weird.”
Some say, “I’m scared,” or even, “It’s like living in the Twilight Zone.”
I watch the news. It’s real. I learn about mitigation and flattening the curve.
I live alone. The silence is deafening. When this is over, I think I’ll get a puppy.
We are in this together. We all buy wipes, wash our hands, stand six feet apart.
We cough into our elbows, sew masks, sing from windows, applaud helpers.
We call our parents, record funny songs, take up new hobbies, practice yoga.
We praise our essential workers. We send them big tips and free pizzas.
Our houses are spotless, our cupboards are bare. We’re okay with that.
We try to embrace love and deny fear. We don’t always succeed.
We check our wipes and toilet paper supplies on a daily basis.
We tell ourselves we’ll get through this. Most of us will.
When this is finally over, I will visit family.
There will be laughter, and also tears.
As for the rest of the world, will we
reflect on things? Will we know
what we did right? Appreciate
how we cooperated? Mend?
Will we ask ourselves
“What did we learn?
Written for Cheer Peppers as part of a daily writing prompt for the month of April.