December 30, 2020

A Viral Tsunami Crashing All Around Me. {Poem}

There is a viral tsunami crashing around me.

The waves are vicious and unrelenting.
It kills kind people.
And yet, I sit in the eye of the storm.

Bellies are hungry and grandmas are lonely.
Young beauties long to have strong arms around them.
And strong men long to be desired.
But desire has been set aside and asked to wait its turn.

Right now, survival is first in line.

There is bitterness on the tongue.
We’re not used to waiting.
Not for a sweet. Not for anything.

And yet, we wait.

There is so much that needs tending.

Snot has to be wiped from that child’s runny nose.
Mothers need to know their children will be fed.

The teachers and the nurses need that altar built,
So that we can genuflect before them.
So that we can cry a little.
So that we can feel our gratitude, and our loss.

Brave doctors need to cry a little too. And breathe.

Black lives still matter.
The waves break harder on their shore.

Our towns are shrinking.
The vibrancy has become listless and dull.

Women burn to march for rights that are threatened.
My gay friends still weep because they are made out to be less than.

Our ovens are filled with food we hope will make us strong.
But some ovens are dark and empty.
No fire to cook with. No food for the fire.

Still, the fire burns, and we are asked to sit in those flames.
Flames of grief, flames of loss, and fear,
and loneliness.

We sit. And we hope.
We hope the fire brings us to that melting point where alchemy finally happens.
We try to call in the magic. We pray, as hard as we know, for everything to become normal again.

There is a question that lives on each of our tongues:
When will this storm be over? When can we get back to the business of living?

And then we hear a new statistic: 1 in 1,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.
The tsunami waves crash again and extinguish the promise of fire.

And still, I sit in the eye of the storm. I live in the waves of Grace. I am one of the lucky ones.

I have a home. I have enough to eat.
I have a beloved to share this burden with.
I am white and I am straight.

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