A darkness over 2020 sky
creeps like a slow cloud,
infects with every shared
breath, mutual touch. Fences
must be erected, doors locked, windows
boarded. Stay indoors. Do not connect
hand to hand, finger to face. Do not connect
if not essential. Do not let sky
fall. From behind a mask, window,
screen, glove, do not let the cloud
of viral droplets penetrate immune defences,
destroy respiratory systems. Do not share
your home, air, personal space. Do not share
bodily fluids. Yet, still, have the desire to connect.
Be claustrophobic. Long for a space without fences,
a home without walls. Open sky.
Run, cycle, walk to blow the black clouds
from your dusty minds. Notice the windows.
There are painted rainbows in the windows,
made by children so full of love to share
that it’s escaping through the cracks like light through clouds
and there are volunteers, hoping to connect
you to necessities, hoping to keep the sky
from falling, hoping to subvert the isolation of fences.
Discover, now, that these fences
and walls are not prisons. Open your windows,
cheer from them, make your din, sing to the sky,
applaud the heroes helping us to share
another day, week, year, together. Connect
to the internet, upload joy to the cloud.
Then one hot day when there’s not a single cloud
overhead, think about the way fences
that link garden to garden connect
you to fellow humans, the way their faces in the tiny windows
of your phone feel like home, the way they share
the same songbird soundtrack, barbecue smoke, blue sky.
It’s your nature. Connect. When surrounded by fences, make windows
to each other, open them wide and blow away the clouds
of your shared sky.
Zoe is a teacher by day and writes short stories and poetry in her spare time. She has stories published with Didcot Writers including in First Contact, The Most Normal Town in England and some Reader’s Choice shorts in their regular competition (found here: https://didcotwriters.wordpress.com/) She is also on Twitter and Instagram @nervousneutrino