As we teeter on the brink of the election and a third peak of the pandemic, it’s the little ordinary things that stubbornly remain ordinary that I find so discombobulating.
Given the tumult of event and emotion, there should be fireballs in the sky, chasms collapsing underfoot, not one day after another, same as it ever was. Mind and world refuse to rhyme.
Another rainy Monday
On another rainy Monday the leaves show gold
and lemon and brown against the greens of pine
and cedar. Election signs drip in the yard. No
pressing business, I refill my coffee mug and sip.
On my screen, the COVID tracker tells me I live
in the current hotspot of the county. On my screen
the electoral map shows my guy doing pretty well.
In social feeds my virtual friends strongly urge me:
to pray, to vote, to wear a mask, to wash my hands,
to send money, to feel outrage, to be afraid – very
afraid. They say the world is burning. They say we’re
all gonna die! They say their scream jars are full up.
It’s another rainy Monday morning in America and
flags hang limp, as if exhausted from all that waving.
But leaves are still leaves, coffee still coffee, and
there is leftover homemade apple pie for breakfast.
The ordinary strangely endures, the river and clouds.
But fear and loathing too go on and on – tightness
in the chest, hypervigilance, angry mind milling stone
to dust. Waiting, waiting on the advent of the awful.
On another rainy Monday the ragged crows perch
still, squirrels stash away their winter plunder,
business as usual. Cars go back and forth from home
to village. All things ordinary behind their masks.
Note: unpublished draft