Day One

We sat in
The yard on
A blanket while
Clem crawled around
A uniquely warm March

The winters
Can be so

But when
The Sun starts
To shine

Everyone starts to
Barbecue and play
Music on old boomboxes
In their yards

And everyone starts to
Drink with
A celebratory tone

In stark contrast to
Our February drinking
Which is done purely
To beat back
The misery
Of brown snow on
The roadside and
God’s gray
Middle finger
Up in the sky

I watched Clem’s face
As he studied
A twig in his fingers

And I thought about
When I
Stopped at a red light
And received a
Washington Post update
On my phone:
Ohio was closing
Of their schools

It took
Until Monday morning
For New York to

Karen walked into the backyard
With a bag of popcorn
And two bowls

“In true social distancing fashion”
She said
Handing one bowl
To Kayleigh

We all sipped
Wine and looked up at a blue
Sky when I felt my phone
Buzz again:

“California issues stay at
Home order in the
Bay area”

I felt calm.

I texted Sean
In San Francisco

I watched Clem
Crawling faster towards
The gate

I felt Spring in
My lungs
And I tried to understand
That this
Was only the

But to see
A beginning
In relation to some
Unknown end
Through a chasm of time
That doesn’t even exist yet

Where do you even

I took
A handful of popcorn
And finished
My wine

This was only
Day One


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Bridge the Distance: An Oral History of COVID-19 in Poems Copyright © 2021 by Dr. Sarah J. Donovan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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