Pandemic Poem #6

Pandemic poem #6 is called “Little Reprieves.” After four gray, rainy days in a row (ordinarily my happy place, I love such weather dearly, but spent inside with three other people trying not to get in one another’s way, it’s a bit claustrophobic!) in the middle of an online conference, I looked up from the dining room table that is now where I spend the majority of each day and saw bright slats of sunlight shining through the blinds and casting their shadow on the carpet, and the incredibly uplifting feeling of that sight led my mind to only one conclusion: “The SUN! a WALK!” It was a lovely moment, and a sorely needed shot of joy. I don’t think I truly realized until that moment how confined I had been feeling, because I had been so caught up in work and family. This was a reprieve from both the physical and the emotional confines I had imposed upon myself as a result of the pandemic, and a reminder that I need to listen more carefully to my body and mind during this time, to offer both the nourishment they need–physical activity, mental breaks.


Little Reprieves

Sometimes, the slightest glimpse of sun through the blinds,
the promise of a late-afternoon walk whispered by that light
during yet another seeming endless online meeting
is all it takes to ease the angst
born of four days of rain in a row
spent in the same room, at the same table.

(Originally written 3/25/2020)


I invite those who are also writing creatively in response to the pandemic to share their words in the comments below. I am sharing the “poem-a-day” on Instagram and Twitter, as well; follow me @mridleyelmes !


About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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