Pandemic Poem #10

This little musing came as I walked early in the morning. Typically, there are cars passing me on their way to work, blaring snatches of this- or that-kind of music, of talk shows or podcasts; typically, we can hear the steady stream of traffic on the highway just past our turnoff. But that morning I realized about halfway through my 3 miles that not a single car had passed by me and I didn’t hear the traffic. Lights were still off. I had been so engrossed in my mind’s musings, which in turn hadn’t been interrupted by any distractions, that it hadn’t registered that I was so deeply lost in contemplation. What an unexpected and welcome gift. This pandemic is terrible in so many ways; I am not taking these brief moments of surprising delight for granted.

(Reading tip: It occurs to me, that if you are reading these on your phone screen, turning the screen sideways will result in a correct placement of each line; otherwise, they are broken up in unusual and not especially poetic fashion.)

 

A Quieter Time

I had forgotten how many thoughts
Can flit through your head in an hour’s solitude
Walking alone outdoors before dawn
Coffee in hand, wind blowing, no sound but birdsong
Streets silent, traffic stilled, lights off, empty agenda–
No distractions, save those self-provided.

(Originally written 3/29/2020)

 

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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