My Twitter feed seems to be a long
list of people saying they have lost 
their mother, their brother or sister, 
their father, their grandfather or 
grandmother, their dear friend.  

I find myself weeping at the end
of these messages, typing the only
thing I can think of to say:
I’m so sorry. Over and over.

We are still allowed to take a walk
here if we keep six feet away from
each other. The rain makes that easy.
Alone on the streets, under my colorful 
umbrella, I feel protected in a way

I haven’t felt in weeks. A childish fancy, 
but I’ll own it. I take pictures of flowering 
trees around my empty neighborhood, 
clutches of daffodils, scatters of unknown

tiny flowers in the grass. Nearly home,
I see a neighbor has hired someone 
to take down a magnolia tree. I stand
in front of the cut branches, tied in twine 
and stacked, and seeing their new green

leaves and first buds, I feel so terribly sad.
I’m so sorry, I say. I see that some buds
have made the effort to flower despite
being on their way to nothing. 

I thank the tree for this hard taught 
lesson. That even in the worst of times,
we must struggle to bloom. 
It’s all we have.

Top photo: Bigstock