They say there’s lots to keep us busy during our quarantines as we wait out Covid-19. We are not used to days of isolation on end, and while technology does much to keep us connected, social distancing is hard and often leaves us feeling lost and unfocused. This afternoon, I sat down and forced myself to work on the scraps of poems of been keeping in my head for days now. These three poems are what came out.

Human Touch

Arms wrapped
around myself,
a pretend hug. I miss
the human touch--I need contact
with you

Dreaming Awake

My attention span
is short these days,
An understatement
if ever there was one.
I try to focus
on what's in front of me:
the work at hand,
the book I'm listening to,
the movie playing on TV.
The constant bombardment
of the world's pestilence
steals my concentration,
leaving me empty
and searching for a peace
I've only found
on a tropical beach,
gazing at azure ocean
as it kisses white sand
while seabirds dance
across a cerulean sky.
They sing, “Come play with me.”
I close my eyes
and try to go with them,
but I am still here,
surrounded by the chaos.
I bow my head
and pray for the rapture
to take me there again,
so I can let the weight of the world
roll off with the tide.

Conversations in the Bardo

“She's not come for a long time.
I hope she's all right.”

“She's probably just busy.
She has a life, you know.”

“She seemed so sad the last time she visited.
Remember how she wept?
I thought she gotten past that long ago.”

“You know some days are harder than others.
I'm sure she'll visit soon.”

“I heard someone mention a pandemic.
Thousands dying all over the world.
Oh, I pray she is all right!”

“Don't worry so, my dear.
I'm sure she's safe and sound.
We'd know if the worst had happened.
She'd be here with us.”

~Elise Skidmore ©2020

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  1. These are beautiful, Elise. You capture deep emotions so powerfully. Especially the last one — snuck up on me.

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa. It’s always good to know when something’s struck a chord with someone. The emotions sneak up on me as well sometimes.