April 2nd, 2020

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Encroachment

April 2, 2020

I'm feeling anxious right now, which I attribute partially to the fact that I probably had more caffeine than I normally have and partially to the fact that the gardeners who work for our apartment complex are currently outside my patio, scooping wood chips around the bushes. One of the workers actually stepped onto the patio to begin the process, kicking a bowl covered with plastic wrap that is serving as one of my son's science assignments from his teacher (a mini model of the water cycle). I've always been an introvert, but in these coronavirus days, feeling encroached upon feels immeasurably worse.

Does anyone else, I wonder, experience an odd sense of anxiety when watching films and TV shows from even six months ago, and seeing crowds of people walking down the street? Crowds of people, sitting elbow to elbow in a television studio? I'm sure that feeling will pass once we've gotten through this epidemic, but for now I'm pretty sure you could creep people out just by showing them such videos. A subtle form of horror movie.

Since I tend to think of things in terms of writing, I'm also thinking about how many wonderful stories will come out of this experience. So many possibilities for both fiction and non-fiction tales of love, perseverance, acceptance, and overcoming. It would be the sort of story I loved to read as a child.

But right now, I just wish these gardeners would go away.
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NaPoWriMo 2: Quarantine Dreams

For National Poetry Writing Month, I'm attempting to write one poem a day in April. Once more, I'm writing from the prompt on my literary magazine, Wild Violet: Dream poems.

puppet

A punk sock puppet I made a few years ago.



Quarantine Dreams

Everyone spoke through puppets.
Our hands cotton gloved,
we learned to gaze only
at puppet faces and opened
doors awkwardly with our
puppet mouths.

Then, we built sky-high
cities from plastic blocks. Even
our clouds transformed,
pixelated and square. Our world
rose, azure and white, far
from putrid ground.

At last, I climbed a cartoon
chart, numbers
bumping up a rock path.
Up there, I knew,
I'd finally find --
what was it? Calm,
I think? Or just
a clear, cool view.