Ode to the Future During the Pandemic

You’ve never actually been there, Future, your nitrile gloved hands beckoning,
a partner for a waltz we never learned how to lead or follow--
blue crocus underground and snow geese wintering in the south--
no part of you more than wishes or prayers to faithless lovers.
A partner for a waltz I never learned to lead or follow
you’re a dancer wearing a gown of milk jug silk and cornstarch shoes.
You’ve never been more than a ten-cent prayer, my faithless lover,
I scribed on paper and burned in winter, a summery green ash rising.
A dancer in a gown of milk-jug silk and thin-soled shoes
you won’t be recognized when you arrive.  It will be today,
scribed on burning paper, summery green ash rising
even though I saw you, our longed for Future running away.
We won’t recognize you when you arrive. It will be today.
What could you do to remind me I invited you to breakfast
(I saw you, hair streaming, running away)
when you come now in your goggles, mask, your smothered grin?
Could you remind me I invited you to breakfast,
blue crocus underground and spring geese restless, muttering in the south?
You approach now in goggles and secret smile.
You’ve never actually been here, your gloved hand beckoning.

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