On the First Day

A brisk walk in bright sun
on the first day coronavirus
numbers start to slow.

Still observing fourteenth-century
social distancing, but without
my mask, I choose
a long street no one visits.
I need to feel air and breeze
in my dry mouth, nose, eyes.

To my surprise, others appear,
tip their heads to me.
Some speak greetings.
A few peek from around their masks
as if to say, six feet away
we are all still here, we all matter.

Like the yellow and blue chalk drawings
with words scrawled by children
on driveways:
We are all in this together.

Next to their renditions of flowers,
hearts, strong men and women,
with rainbows behind them.
Hopscotch squares that run for blocks.

Fragrant jasmine, my wedding flower,
climbs along fences,
enters into hedges, then out again.
Its sweet smell comforts me
even when the marriage rocks up and down.

Calla lilies and lilacs burst open
in gardens I pass. Wild radish
tosses yellow, pink, lavender, an acre at a time.
Spring still arrives, after months of cold and isolation.

Photo by Griffin Wooldridge/Pexels


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