My Friend, Covid-19

Reach out—flex.

Cringe back—gasp!

Brush up against—

Sorry! My mistake!

What the (bleep) are you doing?

Watch yourself! Be careful!

Did you wash your hands?

Every hour?

You don’t realize how much you touch.

Oh, but only if…

We could meet again,

Hang out. Have coffee together.

Can I read you a story?

No, you might cough on me!

Let’s start over.

We can’t.

What’s done is done.

Where is your mask?

You’ve got to…

Only, perhaps,

It is too late.

Perhaps.

The Essential

Waking from a dream,

I find, I am in a nightmare.

The status quo is social distancing,

I cannot shake your hand,

Much less,

Give you a hug.

The world has been

Turned upside down

By an odd appetite,

And now we all must curb

A variety of yearnings,

Like sitting down in a restaurant,

Going to the movie theater,

Visiting at a friend’s house,

Shopping at the mall.

What has become of the world?

It seems just yesterday,

That I could go anywhere,

At any time.

Now I must check myself,

And ask if it is essential.

What is essential,

After all?