On the Thirtieth Day of Isolation (Covid-19)
Marie Louise St. Onge
Just over four weeks now, no store
no pharmacy no haircut no meetings
no movies no museum no protests
no handshakes no hugs no gym simply
solo walks along the shore. Respite indeed
when I pull in more than my share of salted air
and negative ions, listen carefully
for the dogs’ barks and the surf’s voice
rising and falling, speaking and pretty
much always uttering something
When she said she was making a trip
to the grocery and asked if I needed anything
I found my way to yes…I found my way to yes.
Make a list she said. Memory. Over four decades ago
my aunt, wrapped inside a world she could not
see, made lists: ½ lb. hamburger, one chicken breast,
two white potatoes, ¾ lb. green beans, one quart
orange juice, a single loaf of Wonder,
half dozen eggs, a shaker of Ajax, two rolls
of toilet paper, one Whitman’s pecan roll
and a package of English muffins. My aunt said yes.
There is a long list of things we don’t know today
and will not tonight or tomorrow or even next week.
We’re living blind. So much we’ve not learned
but now in this time of much time
may we practice……patience compassion stamina.
In these lean days while we touch nothing
except our worries, may we be moved toward grace.
Trees persist with their bold budding, frogs are readying
their pulse, crows build nests and mares enter estrus.
Today I made a grocery list, such a plain way of baring need,
leaning in and accepting a blown kiss.