It was so quiet
I’ve been quiet lately*
I feel a loss of what to say other than,
there are buds on trees,
daffodils are $1.49 at Trader Joes
—sometimes they open, sometimes they don’t—
There are suddenly small sprouts appearing on my pencil cactus,
the cuttings planted and dormant since November.
It just took this long for them to get comfortable.
We finally came to the end
of the Irish soda bread, nine loaves later.
Life is piles, then not piles, then piles again.
Fresh mulch around the new street trees on my block.
I find it difficult to make the space for anything
other than what happens on the computer,
computer is life, computer is work,
computer is connection, computer tappy tap tap.
When I do make space, when I read and finish
an entire book, I feel a sense of accomplishment
as if I’ve just run a half-marathon. It’s not hard to read,
it’s hard to give one thing all of your focus.
I’ve been trying to do only one thing at at time.
I’ve been trying to tell myself in a sentence how I am feeling.
For example, I say to myself or sometimes aloud,
I feel peaceful.
I feel nervous.
I feel lonely.
There are worlds I know, worlds I live within,
finding joy in the discovery that I still live within them
talking with someone I’ve never met
who does the same thing as I do,
talking about people we both know.
I love all the people I know. I love
knowing them. I love
knowing they’re out there,
with me, marking two years-that-feels-like-ten-years
of this unfathomable seismic shift into
I remember watching a neighbor packing their Peloton
into the back of their LandRover and driving away.
Into my text messages, I type lockdown
and see what comes. I scroll back and back,
inspired by Sarah to revisit this time, to take a peek into the past.
I find us there still, scared,
then siren shell-shocked as March scrolled into April,
As the schools shut down we traded recipes with one another,
made videos of our unsuspecting children, looked out
closed windows, toasted our own survival every Friday night.
These messages remind me of how much
I love these people I know,
that’s what comes through the screen to me
then I look up and I’ve been
reading messages for an hour
like a book, transfixed.
*As I typed that, a bird outside my window let out a gorgeous trill of a song as if to punctuate the not-quiet.