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