workers, from home, from the corner of the street, from the parking lot, where the families drive in their procession of cars to pick up laptops and free meals
Stay in the car.
The essential worker leans toward the window, in her mask, with her latex gloves, and hands the mother the laptop. the printed work books. the meals
in plastic bags.
The essential code flies from my fingers and points the way to the school with the social distance lines where 10,000 families get two free meals
and 10,000 loaner laptops find their ways to students.
Fifty-four essential emails chime, and the zoom meeting starts, and my mic is essentially
and I find my way back into the code where a href directs 49,000 families to the note that tells them school is closed and what will we do now
Everything takes five times as long as it did before
But when the email chimes stop, and the code flows, around me stretches
the softest bubble that holds within it me and my Jim and our tiny room with our two laptops and two devices and two computers and Dvorak playing in the other room and the only person I will see today is the bright-eyed boy I met 40 years ago, when we were both young, and the planet still had time to stop
every crisis, even this one.
Daily Prompt: “write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.
Author’s note: It’s GloPoWriMo, a poem a day to celebrate April during National Poetry Month. I am overworked, and, likely, will continue to be throughout the month. Global crises seem to result in extremes: some of us are underworked, and some are overworked. I could be tempted to abandon GloPoWriMo this year. I have too much to do. But this is the time for poetry. Our minds, our souls, our empathy, our love, our daily breath demands and depends on poetry. If I can’t write through a crisis, what good is writing?
If you want to participate this year, check out the Na/GloPoWriMo website to find (optional) daily prompts. Maybe writing poems will be your lifesaver during these days, too. Let me know in the comments below if you join in (with a link, please), so I can enjoy your poems.
Be well. Be gentle. Be resilient. Be kind, essentially.