The sun sweeps across the lawn
where I sit and sip my morning tea.
The light dances and retreats—
forms intricate shapes and shadows
like pieces of the half-finished
jigsaw puzzle on my kitchen table.
Never shy, that clever sun plants
kisses on the trees and bushes
circling the edges of my backyard.
My neighbor practices her cello—
gifts me with a private concert.
Sounds and sights of the morning—
all lovely and loving, a prayer
for the new day ahead.
I HAVE YOU TO THANK
Now the irises are in full bloom
and I have you to thank for it.
You tenderly planted seeds last fall,
left them to scatter in the wind—
to grow under the wayward sun.
I recall those luminous days,
your winsome smile and laughter.
You gave me the saddest year—
now the irises are in full bloom
and I have you to thank for it.
I wear another mask under my N95,
one I may never take off. Hot-seared
against my cheeks and forehead—
molded by trauma and tears.
I ask myself who could be underneath,
hoping to be seen and heard. The picture
is cloudy, opaque. I barely remember her—
she waits patiently for her turn to talk.
WHAT CAN’T BE KNOWN
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
I read the Pentagon is looking
for a hundred-thousand body bags.
A Colonel thought his unit could convert
an ice rink into a makeshift morgue.
Apparently, a General asked him
“Exactly how many body bags
will fit into a standard size ice rink?
We need to know, for future planning.”
The tired angels breathed a
collective sigh of despair—
“What fools these mortals be,
pointing the long finger of blame—
continuing their pointless games.
They seek to learn what can’t be known,
try to slow what can’t be stopped.”
We take a modest walk around our favorite park.
Neighbors, no longer strangers, are out running,
walking the dog or chasing after a toddler.
These days, ordinary occurrences become heart-treasures,
reminding us of yesterdays we took for granted.
We are careful not to enter another’s space,
careful not to spread what we don’t know we have.
Someone comes too close; a slight flutter moves in my chest.
The slogan of the day comes to mind—
“Better six feet apart than six feet under.”
A woman plants flower bulbs in her front yard
with her homemade mask fixed in place.
She mentions she’s not in the vulnerable group as I walk by.
Aren’t we all members of the Vulnerable Club now?
Home again, we put on old albums and sing along.
We might water the lawn or write a note to a friend—
we end up watching the news anyway,
watch the numbers and the bodies pile up.
When I worry needlessly, my son says,
“These are only First World problems, Mom.”
Mine are trivial compared to the Third World’s.
Now we have our own brand of famine and disease—
does that make us the Second World, the Fourth?
Schools, incomes and politicians are collapsing
like an old-fashioned accordion pulled in and out
to play a familiar song. We keep our chins up—
wash our hands and follow the guidelines closely.
I don’t hear much music in the air these days, do you?
ON THE WAY TO THE MAILBOX
I watch the clouds paint the day gray,
competing with a few rays of sun.
Sidewalk roses beg for affection—
deep reds, pale pinks and peaches.
I breathe in the heady cologne.
Breaking off a hesitant pink,
I press the fleshy petals to my face—
crushed velvet explodes on my cheek.
A moment resplendent—
pregnant, with joy.
EVEN THE CLOUDS
There is nothing to see here.
Nothing more can be done.
She is so weary of sorrow, even
the clouds offer to hold her tears.
The sky shudders,
rolls up and goes home.
She sleeps, but does not dream.
Our thanks to Sue Daly for her fine poems today! Sue’s poems have been published in several Literary Journals and Anthologies. Her poetry chapbook, A Voice at Last, was published by DADs Desk Publishing in 2017. She writes Plug into Poetry, a monthly newsletter highlighting Sacramento Poetry Readings. She leads a Women’s Writing Group at Wellspring Women’s Center, and Sue and Joyce Odam facilitate a Poetry Workshop at the Hart Senior Center in Sacramento. Sue has an interest in empowering women to write their truth and share that truth with others.
For upcoming poetry readings and workshops available online while we stay at home, scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info—and note that more may be added at the last minute.
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