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Pandemic Spring and Then What? a Poem by Elaine Zimmerman

The groundhog does not see his shadow today but I give

you mine for the number of springs we missed together.

Buds will open in this season of mad flush and flood.

The wind does not still, but I do, sipping pause from a spoon.

Cars rock back and forth like cradles, unable to budge in the storm.

What moves the future when so much is stalled or gone?

Geese do not stop flying in vee formation. But I leave

the line, prefer moon to pull me to prayer. Move

between waking and wonder, if wings have their way.

Night did not tire or whine, but I fell asleep dreaming of shoes,

something forgotten. Silver key tucked in the wrong drawer.

Was the light on before purpose slipped out like a thief?

Song does not linger in the throat, but I remember humming.

Small birds sip from puddles. Something purrs in the heart

for simpler tunes, each other in the park, a way out of masking.

People know their spot on the street. Where we crouch and bend

becomes our house, tent and number. But I squat in mayhem.

Make room of feathers and thread, till day breathes again.

Rains pour down on small and large creatures. So many ill

and then simply passed. But tendrils burst from bough and sky

hold stars before we know what fills us, before time has gone.

Dancers cross ballads, tip singers in bars. But I sit on the curb

watching if one leap becomes another. Bear leaves his forest.

Another tornado. We leave town together; skip the storyline.

No beginning, middle or end these days. But who knows?

Plot might be standing in spring’s shadow. What is it we lace

into pockets and dreams, a new rhythm or a closing song?


Elaine Zimmerman is a child and family policy leader and poet. Her publications include Rasp, a chapbook and poetry in journals and newspapers such as the Hartford Courant, New Millennium, New Guard Literary Review, Lascaux Review, and anthologies including Take a Stand: Art Against Hate, Waking Up to the Earth, 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium, Wild Gods, and Forgotten Women. Recent honors include the U.S. Secretary’s Meritorious Service Award and the Nutmeg Poetry and William Stafford awards.


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