Maybe / Who / Next – A Poem in the Time of COVID-19

Park City, Utah

As published on March 14th on LinkedIn Influencers

Up again at 4 am
Head spinning, tears flowing, tummy bouncing
Wondering, questioning, pleading, praying
Stop
We are connected to one another
We have always been connected to one another
But maybe we did not pay attention
Or feel it
Or know it
Or perhaps we turned away not wanting to
Feel it
Or know it
But the evidence has always been there
Hasn’t it?
The news, the voices, the warnings, the alarm bells, the numbers, the heat maps, the lines, the people, the experts, the markets, the pain, the anxiety, the fear
It’s everywhere and constant and loud
And maybe it’s appropriate
And maybe it’s too much
And maybe we are over reacting
And maybe we are not
And maybe this brings out the worst in our humanity
And maybe it brings out the best in our humanity 
Maybe …………………..
I find myself thinking about choice
Who has it, and who does not
Who can drive their SUV to Costco, whip out their AMEX and who
Can’t 
Who can hunker down indoors and do jigsaw puzzles while watching Netflix and eating kale salad with dried cranberries and lemon zest
And who
Can’t 
Who is facing the decision on who gets laid off and who doesn’t because of cancelled
Everything
Who gets pushed out of their college dorms with nowhere to go because of travel bans, quarantines, money 
Who has to tell their young child what pandemic means and why they can't see their friends right now
Who fears they will get arrested if they go to get tested
Who can't get access to their life saving medication 
Who gets a pay check 
Who goes without any food let alone good food
Who must go to work to ensure the rest of us can stay home
Who cares for the sick while risking their own well being
Who already suffers from depression and anxiety and this truly feels like too much
Who is old and scared and sick and alone and may not make the cut. May not make the cut. 
Who?
Head spinning, tears flowing, tummy bouncing
Wondering, questioning, pleading, praying
Stop
Stop
Let us all do the next right thing
Let us all do the next kind thing
Let us all do the next hopeful thing
Let us all do the next generous thing
The next compassionate thing
The next wise thing
The next rational thing
The next loving thing
The next safe thing
The next calm thing
And then
Do it again and again
We are all connected. 
We always have been.
We always will be. 
(may heeding the call to 'social distance' be the force that actually draws us closer together)

…..

I used to write a lot of poetry and I recently started again. This is my third poem. All were written before the sun came up, and all were written quickly, in one sitting. As stated above, I woke up at 4 am and could not go back to sleep. I was tempted to turn on CNN or go to the NYTimes online, but I didn’t. I wrote this instead.

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