Gayle Sands

The last day of school was stolen from us.
No sigh of relief, no wave to the bus.
I couldn’t hug them.

I taught from afar, a world in between.
No real connection, naught but a screen.
I couldn’t hug them.

No farewell ceremony to close with.
Worse for them than for me, I suppose, but
I didn’t hug them.

They are gone to high school;
all the months we spent
dissolved, so many lessons unsent.
I can’t hug them goodbye.

Hunkered in our houses, away from those we know.
Scurrying through stores, get in, get food, then GO!
If I see a friend, I wave, because
I shouldn’t hug them.

My friends stay in touch with emails and such.
Better than nothing, but I so need their touch.
I want to hug them.
My daughter lives two hours away.
Our phone conversations happen every day, but
I haven’t hugged her.

I talk to Mom on the phone every week.
As her mind fades, it’s my presence she seeks, yet
I can’t hug her.

On a walk in town, a student appeared.
“I’ve missed you”, she cried, arms out, running near
I set aside my fear…

And I hugged her.


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

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