Beth A. Fleisher
Prompt 7: Write a poem titled Season of the (fill in the blank). The fill in the blank could be a reference, it could be an actual season, it could be something abstract, or concrete, anything you want. The key is to write a poem that matches, or interacts with that title.
Season of the Covid
Is there any passing of the seasons
in this crazy world we’re living in?
It all feels like one homogenous thing.
Some days. Many days. And yet
the Iris buds rise from the leaves
and then open into lush purple flowers
with sweet scent of Spring.
As those blooms fade,
my lilac tree is laden with huge ropes
of little purple flowers with pink centers,
and I can smell their deep fragrance from my window.
the first robin with his red breast.
And hummingbirds who have been away for a year
appear at the feeder on my patio to sip nectar.
I can feel
the difference in the warmth of the sun on my back
as spring glides into summer.
So why do I feel like time is not moving on at all?
I was talking with my daughter yesterday
about the State Fair being cancelled,
along with all of the 4th of July Fireworks,
parades, carnivals, and barbecues.
That was my “AHA!” moment.
I’m realizing that all of the big and little social events
that normally mark the march of time are missing.
No April birthday celebrations with my sons.
No excited preparation for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
No burst of freedom when school is out for the summer.
No graduation ceremonies.
No stop to buy Sparklers and Ground Blooming Flowers for the 4th of July.
It seems that from mid-March until now,
almost the end of June,
we’ve been living in one big, long difficult season:
The Season of the Covid.
Face coverings, social distancing,
shelter at home, be responsible,
protect the elders, don’t go to stores,
wash your hands, disinfect everything,
make PPE, search several towns to find t.p.!
The passing of the seasons has been usurped
by the passing of the Phases.
I find it’s all too much. Too much to think about,
too much to worry about, too much to take in.
I desperately want my old life back,
when the passing of the seasons meant family time,
going on adventures, planning trips, and celebrations.
But as I take a deep breath and look out my sliding glass door,
two ducks are happily swimming laps in our closed swimming pool!
I assume they flew in from the more-crowded wildlife refuge,
and as they enjoy this clear blue body of water all to themselves,
the absurdity of it hits me, and I can’t stop smiling.
The season of Covid brings its benefits, too.
The decreased air pollution during the lockdown
meant more oxygen in the air and happier birds,
who fill the air with their joyful thanks.
Families who, on average, had 38 minutes of interaction
per day suddenly are together All.The.Time. and
they are learning to talk to each other again.
And K-12 kids who spent hours in front of video games
in their pre-Covid lives, are now outside, riding bikes,
and inventing the 2020 version of King of the Hill.
Workers have realized they can work from home,
and I’m not sure employers can ever
put that Genie back in the bottle…or cubicle.
And we all finally have time to really pay attention
to the news — and we were horrified and disgusted
as we watched George Floyd murdered before our eyes.
And we have had time to take to the streets and march in protests,
rediscovering that the Power really is with the People.
The Season of Covid continues. We can either struggle
against its lessons, or embrace them. Some of us have prayed
for Something to wake people up.
The Season of the Covid definitely has done that.