By Christina Laurie
Cape Cod Branch, Massachusetts
“Nothing was remembered, nothing forgotten.
When we awoke, the enemy attacked.”
Our windowsills were wet
from the rain last night.
Birds settled on stone walls
then scattered into vine-entwined trees.
But peace did not reign
and life was broken in a moment.
Nothing was accepted, nothing looked backward.
Grandfather clock separated hour from hour,
hands creeping slowly.
No one drew into deserted streets
yet animals moved about.
Stores boarded up, dark, emptied.
Faces with expressionless eyes
covered by masks or bandanas.
Still we washed our hands so often
our skin wrinkled and knuckles bled.
Nothing was remembered, nothing forgotten.
When we awoke, the enemy attacked.
Soon we were separated by six feet
and streets and houses were silent.
No hand clasping hand, no hugs shared
but we could bump elbows.
We have withdrawn into our private lives.
Neighbors have left their rain-soaked windows.
We cannot eat together,
nor dance, nor walk arm in arm.
We sleep alone in the depth of moonless nights
dreaming of sunny days.
We have learned the beginning,
we do not know yet where it will end.
We attempt to create a new life,
but the old keeps haunting our nights
as we linger on the edge