The Other Side of Now

Susan Ahlbrand

The slowdown that came with COVID 19
Was a much-needed respite if you know what I mean.
The cause and the reason–to avoid death and avoid the spike–
were not positive but the outcomes are things that I like.

At home with my family, hanging out and having fun
Instead of in the car and constantly on the run
We play games and play cards and cook meals together
We all go outside to simply enjoy the nice weather.

I’m a teacher so I’m still working and making some money
For those who are not this work stoppage is not funny.
All day, I sit at the table staring hard at a screen
Hoping to still reach each student, each confused, antsy teen.

All around our house are others tapping into to Wifi
Two college students, one high school sophomore and two more teachers do try.
We’re all trying to grab normal, to move forward in school
While trying out every kind of new technological tool.

My husband is the designated shopper because he hates to stay down
Each day he finds a reason to journey out into the town.
We’ve cooked more at home this month than all the previous years
And those of us over 21 have tried all sorts of new beers.

Daily schedules are wonky, interaction is low
We try to wear face masks wherever we go.
Sweatpants and no make-up have become quite the norm.
Closer bonds with our families we’ve tried hard to form.

Jigsaw puzzles we’ve worked and games of euchre we’ve played
I know we will look back on the memories we’ve made.
These times have been scary, the sacrifices have been great.
But it will all be worth it, of that one can’t debate.

We’ll flatten the curve, we’ll keep a number from dying
All the while trying to figure out when the politicians are lying.
On the other side, when we’re back to “normal” we’ll see.
We were given the chance to become new you’s and new me’s.

What really matters is certain to shift
Back into the chaos, I’m sure many will drift.
But this is our chance after we had no chance but to stop.
To reclaim a life that leaves us feeling on top.

Should we keep going, going and going some more?
Should we keep competing with others, trying to keep score?
Should we sit on the bleachers at ballparks on Sunday?
Should we walk right on by neighbors with nothing to say?

No, we should slow down and live life at our own pace.
We should worry about us and not others to race
We should keep the Sabbath holy and spend time with our clan
We should visit with others, make that our main plan.

Corona forced a slowdown, billions of dollars have been lost
But we can use this as a time to find things that don’t cost.
Find things that do matter, make us smile and feel loved.
To help those around us and praise God up above.

On the other side of this thing, whenever that comes
Don’t go back to normal, don’t return to being bums.
Hold on to the good from this time we’ve lived through
And come out as a much better version of you.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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

Share This Book