Meanwhile Life Goes On

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Sprouts poke through
Rain continues to fall
The cat sits quietly on my lap

Overnight
Everything’s changed
And
Nothing

There’s still light and shade
New buds are on apple trees
Fragrance from orange blossoms
Still intoxicating

And yet we know
People are dying
No one’s safe
Everyone’s vulnerable
And quails still make
A surprised flutter
Fleeing
As I surprise them

People are scared
And I’m welcomed at the dry-cleaning store
(As if I’ve returned
From a long journey)
The guy next to me
At the gas pump
Smiles as we joke
A twenty cent
Difference in gas cost
Across the street

Things still fall down
When we let go
My shoes still get wet
When I check
Outside drains
And caremongering’s
A new trend in Canada

It’s a new world
Some people hope to get back to normal
Others know they never will

It’s like after the fire
Our house in ash and cinders
The kids childhood artwork,
Toddler sweaters my sister knitted
A quilt my mom had made
Austin’s two-year old
Bomber jacket
All gone
And more

And no idea
Where we would live
Or if we were covered
Or how we could possibly get through

Yet even then
Amidst the rubble
We once called home
With even the trees in the yard
Charred as if a bomb had exploded
Even then
A Baltimore oriole landed on
A burnt out limb
As if to remind us,
Meanwhile
Life goes on

©Howard B. Schiffer, 2020, All Rights Reserved

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