First Anniversary by Sharon Tracey

Sharon Tracey’s poems have appeared in The Worcester Review, Mom Egg Review, Tule Review, The Ekphrastic Review, and elsewhere. Her full-length poetry collections include Chroma (forthcoming from Shanti Arts) and What I Remember Most Is Everything (All Caps Publishing, 2017). She is a member of Straw Dog Writers Guild.

First Anniversary
—April 15, 2020

Not the usual Tax Day, not the usual
middle spring, the surfeit of daffodils,
but something new. We stand inside
the month, a middle room, the days
too blurred to count, no door
with knob to turn. But stars still
wake me in the middle of the night,
the mourning doves in fog-grey
coats still warn. In a pandemic, my love
says, try to hold only one day at a time.
So today, on the first anniversary
of the Notre Dame inferno,
we watch on video as a man climbs
the south tower of the cathedral
to toll the ancient bell, Emmanuel
(God is with us). Jump-starts the heart
for the medics, the dead, and the sick.
Its toll reminds me of all the people I forgot
to kiss, the arguments I once thought mattered.
Years ago, we stood there, not knowing
it had survived the Plague. Watched the mourning
doves circle the spire no longer there.