2020, poem 8, straying away from the emoji prompt

The Butterfly Effect

Tomorrow, for the first time in four months, I am allowed to see
my parents inside, in their natural habitat of the care home.
They have been well cocooned, the doors firmly closed
to keep out the invisible threat at bay. I picture them swaddled
in sleeping bags suspended from the ceiling light,
human caterpillars become covid butterflies.

I have been told to wear a surgical mask and wash my hands in the porch
for the length of time it takes me to sing happy birthday. If I see them
together, I can stay for 20 minutes but if I visit them
in their separate rooms I can have 15 minutes with each.
Funny how the breeze of a bat’s wing can create a terrible tempest.

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