The month of March collapses

into a single yawning day,

the hours drifting into each other

like dawn into the dusk.


Who can remember when we first

learned the ailing world would seep

under our doors, into our bodies?


We stay at home, walk in woods,

neighbors nod, a beaver thrills,

a springtime swan sails without a mate.


I dress in black beneath my stay-home clothes.


The numbers rise. Hundreds of thousands sick,

tens of thousands dead. How long?



April. Time contracts, settles.

Hours tumble into routine.


I am making masks. In my left eye

you will see blood, and my smile

now can’t conceal my tears.


Silent, masked, we glide

down the arrowed aisles,

vacant spaces lie between us.


The numbers rise.

How long: weeks or months?



The fickle season teases us with balmy sun,

then snows the greening garden, withers us with wind.


Yet just outside our window,

jonquils presage softer days,

chartreuse and rosy treetips promise leaves.

Our young plum tree sprouts hope

in delicate ivory blooms.