Social Distancing

inspired by the poetry community on Twitter

No one told the flowers / about / social distancing. / Or the crows,
gliding / wing-to-wing/to the rain-slicked stream. / Puddles of light.

How many pine needles does it take / to make a branch / a tree?
We count / and keep counting. / Roots we cannot see / churn the earth.

Tremble. / What is coming / will not matter / to the sunrise. / Wind tousling split ends of hair. / Home life is staring at each other / each wall

like a stranger. / A cloudless sky means everything pristine. / Before the panic,
travel ban, / hoarding, / lockdown. /Grocery store shelves wiped empty.

Death is/ so far / no vaccine. / A headline that gets worse / before it gets better.
No picture of the deceased, / but a woman was first / for once. / 80 years old.

Private life inherited by / her offspring. / Packets of seeds she saved for a garden.
Tea bags of vanilla chai seeping into clean water / the river will never get back.

How we are connecting now / in isolation / across mountains / beyond state
lines: in the blue space / where hashtag meets / Monday / morning.

Poet’s Note: COVID19 and social distancing are not topics I wanted to write about, necessarily. I was compelled to write about them. I am struggling to acclimate to this uncertain time as a person and poet. And the one thing I can be certain of is that I am not alone. 


Sarah Marquez (she/her) is an MA candidate at Southern New Hampshire University. She is based in Los Angeles and has work published and forthcoming in various magazines and journals, including Human/Kind, Kissing Dynamite, The River and Twist in Time Magazine. When not writing, she can be found reading for The Winnow and Random Sample Review, sipping coffee, or tweeting @Sarahmarissa338.

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