Written by Melissa St. Pierre for the collection: 'Life in the time of #COVID'
My university is closed. I’m working from home. I’m behind in almost every way possible. And I… Am scared. There is a place I always go when I need to think about something, and if I don’t go there to think my decisions through, I regret them later. I am thinking “all the thoughts.” That place is on the fourth floor of my university library. My university is closed. And I… Am scared. My parents are over sixty. My mother has had cancer and my dad is a diabetic. I had to wave and “social distance” from my lifelines. I cried because they’re the safest place I’ve ever known. My parents. My rocks. My people. I can’t see them because it’s not safe. I watch the news like an addict. I know better. My university is closed. And I am scared. My best friend flew recently. All I want to do is hug her, Another is pregnant. I want to see her joy, Another is just like me, my twin of sorts.
We can't see each other because we put each other at risk. I am not apart from them for more than a day. I’m separated from the others because it isn’t safe to see them. My university is closed. And I… Am scared. My daughter is two years old. She has no idea what’s going on and she cried today when I told her we couldn’t buy more cheese sticks. I make up silly games for us and find crafts. We watched the Denver Zoo elephants today. Online. I incessantly tell her that I love her. I am taking more than my daily 1,000 pictures. My university is closed. And I… Am scared. I am not supposed to be scared. At least not to their faces. My students. My girl. I should be thinking about this on the fourth floor. But, My university is closed. And I… Am scared.
Melissa St. Pierre is a writer and teacher living in Michigan. She teaches writing and rhetoric at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Her work has appeared in 'The Blue Nib', 'Panoply', '45 Magazine Women’s Literary Journal', and 'Elizabeth River Press Literary Anthology'. St. Pierre’s work was also featured in 'Listen To Your Mother', a spoken word storytelling showcase.