By Emily Axelrod
The first snow falls early,
sealing us in our house of quarantine.
I once feared the loneliness of two,
but we have traveled together
beyond the dictates of hurried days,
eating oranges you cut into curving bites,
and dinners invented from a thinning larder.
In the quiet evening we find each other,
speaking a language born of years,
brushed by the breath of night.
It is enough, this reacquaintance,
this sanctuary, it is more than enough.
I have grown accustomed
to the quiet, our senses quickened,
alert to the sound of leaves
in warm summer wind,
the clicking of a sprinkler
tilting toward dry grass,
neighbors’ voices muffled by masks
as they venture onto the empty street.
I move through familiar rooms
where sunlight falls across a faded chair,
its silent warmth a solace.
It has been a comfort, this quiet,
soothing us like a fog,
blurring the sharp outlines
This April the daffodils
along the riverbank
bloom in profusion,
as if students in camp chairs
were sitting with legs entwined
intoxicated by love,
as if runners were crowding
the banks, and the gaggle
of old men were sitting
on their usual bench,
knee to knee.
This April the yellow blooms
stand alone, like the tree in the forest
that makes no sound as it falls
These poems were born out of a time of uncertainty and sadness, but also deal with some of the unexpected gifts that have come from quarantine. As always, poetry provided a profoundly comforting way to deal with the many emotions and situations that have arisen this past year. And reading the work of other poets dealing with many of the same issues is a true gift. Thank you for the opportunity to share poems in these troubling times.