to: prisoners, refugees, immigrants, aged infirm, quarantined, us.
What I need to write now
is a different sort
of poem, one that
dings like a text or better
rings like a phone
call and when you
answer it is
your best friend, brother,
child, something, someone like
that, and everything is perfectly
fine, they say, the night’s heavy
snow is melting under spring sun,
something like that happens, and
let it be a poem that
doesn’t surprise you
at the end of it
with some scary real
news or moment of existential
panic like we get
every day. No,
I will write a poem
that could be everybody’s friend, could be
a hug, a kiss, could be
the delivery of oranges,
or the neighbor’s plum trees
flowering with certainty
there will be no late frost
no kiss of death
so when I share
this poem, I will edit out
the kiss of death,
will cut it short, and the flowers
will ease into fruit in this poem
over several warm months,
and when the poem of your phone rings
it will actually be your doorbell
(you have a door and a bell in this poem)
and there will be your neighbor,
your best friend, your children,
something like that, someone,
this poem, a hug during
the time of waiting,
not a poem of longing. Why
must I always follow
the poem to there,
a sorry visit to my heart,
a shocking fact in my mind,
some science that insists
on being spoken,
that it may be a very long
time before you have a door,
or a bell or a door bell rings,
if ever, but still,
when you open the door,
let the poem of us
be surprised and wait,
cherishing the light in our faces,
then let us reach out
and touch each other’s hands
then step as close
and hold each other as close
as a clam to its shell
mud to a shoe
a cat on your lap
fish in water, carpet to floor, bird to sky, egg to nest, worm to dirt, tree to root, type to page, planet to gravity.
Then let the poem be with you
like you and it are two peas
in a pod, that is
as close as the you-to-me
you always are
wherever you are.
Let my poem touch
you till you laugh.
p.s. Peas come 6 or 8 to a pod.
The poem will have a party!
11 thoughts on “Poem for Isolation”
Thank you for writing this today, Carol. Made me happy, reading as I walked home from tennis.
love it, love you
Amazing poem, Carol! Perfect for these times…thanks for sharing! Pam
Pam Noble http://www.pamnoble.net Author: Becoming Tree, Mystical Wanderings in Nature Through Essays, Poems, and Art
So glad you felt it so.
Carol- THERE is a mouthful! I have been wanting to write something like this too. We have the time. I’ll ponder that. THANK you so much. love Tim
Dear one. This poem is perfect, as are you.
PS I am on my third reading of Chained Dog Dreams and am savoring it! Of course I have my favorites but the overarching feeling is one of gratefulness. Thank you for your art. Thank you for your connection and ability to share what matters. Sending you love. Sue
hi dears, reading the poem yesterday I started to cry and cry all the way to the peas in a pod.and the party. so I visited the poem again today, twice,and still tears.the poem is too beautiful and too real, and the words, the images, the rhythm, erased all the walls that keep me going, minute to minute, day to day. so I say gracias for touching me so hard and now I will move on to wash and wipe and make cookies. kisses,ellie
Oh, my dear, of course to connect is why I finally figured out how to write a poem for the days we are in, and I hope breaking open wasn’t too terrible. I was in Boulder today, pretty empty, and had to cry about it for awhile, so eerie and also so beautiful with the spring bulbs growing.
I made ginger snaps yesterday, which don’t look quite right, but they do snap a bit. Gracias for touching me so hard back. kisses, moi
Thank you Thanks Thanks for that
Thank you. I enjoyed this poem. It made me smile.
Love your blooming zucchini. Never have I seen such a thing.
My garden did well this year. It was my solace from despair and grief.
I wish I had come in the summer to visit you in your garden. That will happen next spring, right? I am glad the poem made you smile. I will send you my next book soon especially since it deals with grief and recovery along with a lot of other stuff (as of today it is on amazon–Bright Path Dark River).