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by Laurie Benson 2020©

I'm in the middle of a
sick competition,
one of who is doing
it right.
And why aren't we afraid
of the same things?

I don't watch the news,
but each day messages
pop up on my phone,
telling me how many
more have died,
and to stay inside.

I pace, I exercise.
Yoga in the living room,
then Oreos in the
kitchen, back and
forth like a caged tiger.

"Outside is not poisonous!
The air won't hurt you!"
Words I tell my class
of third graders.
Now screen time is
school time,
but I don't believe those
words myself.

I work on a puzzle,
put music on, clean
the same things again.
Laundry and disinfecting
the kitchens and bathrooms.

Then I finally feel brave
enough, or caged enough
to go for a walk.
I see birds.  Don't they
know about the virus?
Here they are making
their nests in the fence
just like last year.

The air seems more clear.
The streets are empty.
I think about strapping
my roller blades on
and giving them a try.
I don't …

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