Six Feet Away

Andy Schoenborn

There you are,
posing in the tall grass,
wearing a purple shirt made of silk,
and looking, without knowing,
at a version of your future self.

In the present,
I look into the hazel eyes
of my eighteenth year.

I was so sure.
I was all-knowing.
I couldn’t wait to escape into
the promise of

I took it all for granted.

We all do, I suppose,
when we have nothing but
time and dreams.

Now, at forty-four,
in a time of quarantine,
I see myself posing
for a senior picture
I never wanted and
wonder aloud for my students.

What of their senior photos?
Some wanted.
Some not.

What of their prom?
First kiss?
Last dance?


What will they remember
in the COVID-stolen remnants of
a finish line called
Senior Year?

I hope they find time
to pose in the long grasses
near where they live and
capture memories like
fireflies in a glass jar.

I hope they don’t
take this time
for granted.

Just because the world
is on pause doesn’t mean
they won’t look back
on this time for the
rest of their lives.

They will.

I hope, when they do,
they are able to
smile and laugh
in the face of the thief
that stole their inheritance,
and do it, of course,
from a safe distance —
six feet away.


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

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