Sunday, May 3, 2020

Sheltering in Place (Holmes)

Spring is on hold.
Maples, oaks, and lindens
clench their fists,
refusing the friendly gesture
of flat, green leaves.
Birds sing softly, compelled
to disguise their disbelief.

Busy as goldfish, darting
from task to task in our glass houses,
we barter butter for yeast, wave
to each other from front porches,
offer comfort where we can.
Resistance has come to mean
this connecting without touching.

Whole demographics
dream the same two dreams:
Falling at night from a high window
through snow and clouds that conceal
the ground until the last second.
Hiding a crowd of frantic women
and children in our attic sanctuary
then walking alone downstairs
to answer the ringing doorbell.

Adaptable as finches, we embrace
the routines of our grandmothers:
baking bread, writing letters,
and walking to the mailbox.
Like our grandmothers, we try
to put a good face on it, but
we are lonely for home.
We miss the old country.

Meredith Holmes has two poetry collections, both published by Pond Road Press: Shubad’s Crown, 2003; and Familiar at First, Then Strange, 2015. From 2005-2006, she served as the first poet laureate of Cleveland Heights. Meredith is a freelance writer, focused on tech transfer and women in engineering, science, and politics.

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