Lament, April 2020 by Carol Rinehart

Carol Rinehart enjoys an active retirement in Florence after a decade coordinating hospice volunteer services in Hampshire County.  An ordained interfaith minister, she supports groups and individuals through her STAMINA Project (Strength Training for Aging MINdfully Always). She has only recently discovered her inner poet.

Lament, April 2020

Seismographs are reporting softened trembles from solitude.
The Earth has gone quiet;
People who are lonely have plenty of company.

They say even the rats are feeling the pinch.
Social distancing’s no longer an issue for those
waiting in the makeshift Central Park morgues.

A glut of food–and even tulips—must be plowed back into ground;
the farmers weep over spilled milk.
Opportunities abound for offering fear-infused mercy.

Protection thwarts connection;
Touching is the first to go, then the face, leaving
only eyes free to speak over muffled masks and clumsy gear,
those uniforms so critical for blocking glutinous invaders
running up a debt of death.

They say even resistant boomers
morph into techies just to touch one another
with Zooming, Face Timing, Skyping, What’s Apping.
Compassion, creativity and comedy outwit obstacles and old grudges.
Even the phone is back, and people are calling their mothers.

They say this spring the planet has gone quiet.
Where’s a dictionary that can define what’s happening?
Where’s an umbrella that can shield when the sky is falling in?
Where’s a microscope that finds the limitless
space in the human heart when things fall apart?

Now dictionaries dream daffodils.
Umbrellas upend to collect cherry blossoms.
Microscopes glean the greening for
news from the mind-splitting silent Mother Earth.