Will We Recognize Each Other

Remnants of winter wash down the storm sewer at the end of our street, a steady stream of grime, dead leaves and leftover dreams. The smell of Mother Earth shedding her winter weight, a moist decay, fills my nose. Bits of green poke through melting snow on lawns, through espresso black loam in flower beds where early morning conversations were tossed out the door along with coffee grounds.

I run away from my neighbor who says hello, a slight panic that we might be too close. Deep embedded Canadian courtesy has me stop and turn around, ten feet away. With eyes lowered I say “hi”. “My bad” is his quick response, this first time pandemic for most of us, hard to get used to.

A smile, a wave, we carry on not knowing exactly where we are going, not knowing where this will lead, not knowing if we will recognize each other should we meet again when the virus has traveled its corkscrew route, twisting us to shreds like a dried out cork.

Will we look back and remember things we must never do again? Will we look back with gratitude as those who survived? Survivors who know greater kindness? Who lead simpler lives? Who know how to connect when it seems no connection is possible?

I pray when we look back it will be to celebrate the changes we make, with a bottle of Mt Brave Cabernet in hand.

Speechless

seconds
less than a minute
time it takes to cross threshold
from one room to another
life changes

voice stolen
gone
unexpected words
spoken in anger
have power to stop any motion
power to steal any utterance
vocalization
a thing of the past
articulation arrested
stunted
swallowed in disbelief

frantic heartbeat
racing thoughts
no sound escapes lips
seared together
saliva fled along with speech

flaming cheeks
follow flash of insight
no rebuttal will be justly heard
knowledge of necessary decision
crystal clear
in order to save
authentic self