As spring hangs on the tips of every branch,
verdant green stalks shooting through mud,
tight buds on the brink of bursting open,
And the skies aswirl with storms of a passing season,
There is a dense and unrelenting darkness
Like the deep sleep of winter —
Crowding, pressing, pushing
Us to stillness,
We pull our protective afghans
Up to our chins. We hunker down.
Still, wounds and ills need tending,
Shelves need stocking,
Envelopes must be slipped through mail slots everywhere.
Trash cans wait roadside to be emptied.
There are children to be fed,
Bathed, and read to.
There is learning that must continue.
Loneliness cannot be left to fester,
The faint hum of life itself must be
To grow strong and stronger still
Until this virus of body and soul
Is trapped and sapped of power.
So look to the helpers . . .
The doctors, the nurses, custodial staffs,
Lab technicians who test each swab.
Mail carriers and store stockers,
Grocery store cashiers who ring up every purchase,
And the pharmacist — God bless them all.
Bless the teachers and tutors
Crafting long-distance lessons for homeschoolers,
Neighbors checking in through windows and
closed doors . . .
Rabbis, imams, pastors, and priests
tending to parishioners who used to sit
In now empty sanctuaries.
Their prayers live-streamed
in these days of isolation and shelter.
Be thankful for all of these.
They plant the seeds of hope.