GloPoWriMo – Day 2

Shuttered

1010 E. Tenth St. stands dark, locked closed

to the parents who just moved to town
and the retired librarian who wants to become a substitute teacher
and the 256 of us, working from home.

The dwarf ficus in the planter on my abandoned desk
draws moisture from its bulbous root
and the zamioculcas holds back its spring frond.
The golden pothos plant stretches across the curtain rod,
before deciding to halt new growth.

Do the ghosts wander the shadowed halls of this
old brick building, once a morgue,
or so claims urban legend?

Grey Harry, in his white painter’s overalls, creaks
through the building, looking for me,
or for Sylvia, who died a year ago,
remembering, perhaps, the pandemic
of his youth, the Spanish flu.

What killed him? I never knew.

Coyotes roam the streets
so quiet ghosts can hear the
pads of leather feet.

The palo verde bloom, with no one to see
or smell the honey breath of patient trees.

We are shuttered within, at home.

Vivian claims the privilege of essential workers.
She will, tomorrow, brave the darkened halls
and retrieve our boss’s forgotten keys
deep in the dusty corner of the desk drawer.

“Will you water my plants?”

She will. And I feel hope’s flicker.
I had given them up as lost,
casualties to the pandemic,
and steeled myself for the sight
of their rusty crisp leaves
upon my return, 10 weeks or
and indefinite time
in the future.

But she will water them,
and when I return,
if I return,
to 1010 E. Tenth,
perhaps I will see my office full of green
and smell the scent of life and spring.

Daily Prompt: “write a poem about a specific place,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

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