A poem about what matters in a pandemic
What Is Essential?
What actually matters in a pandemic?
Some things are not:
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp…
All cling like creeping ivy to the battered tree of me
Gradually strangling what little free space is left in my soul
The life blood of my attention drained away
But I can’t remember a time without them
Like those hairy vines with their shiny three-pronged leaves signaling danger:
— if you try to extract this one you will regret it later
— welts and blisters bubbling in remorse
Our dysfunctional digital lives make identification of distractions difficult
We must tread carefully
Wash our hands and cleanse our inboxes.
Accretions of apps, tweets, emails, posts, notifications, Zooms, Slacks, logins, updates, backgrounds…
Afterall, mere distractions
What is essential?
A baby’s laugh
A mother’s embrace
Our ability to discern
The slightest crinkling of crow’s feet
— a friendly smile
Hidden behind a mask
The smell of freshly mowed grass
Let me be like a buttercup on that huge lawn
After the mower has shorn the inessential
I can rise again
Popping back up
To brighten someone’s day
Reflecting the goodness of the sun