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 know why, but
maybe it's to feel alive?

I shout, "hello," to a
neighbor.  We stay in
our yards.  Life is
weird when everyone
is scared.

I begin and finish projects
with glass.  Ones that
will last, then I call a
friend and another and
another.  We laugh and
we cry. We don't know why.

My mind plays tricks.
I think I'm becoming more
stupid the longer I
stay home, and the more
time I spend on the
computer.  I think of the
word, "stupider."

Writing is the only way
I can make time travel
possible.  I am writing
my past from my
present to be read in
the future.  All time
touching at once with
this pen and ink.