Third Anniversary, Barrier and Self-Isolation. Three poems by James Croal Jackson

Third Anniversary (During COVID-19)

After Mikko Harvey

I don’t
want you
to be
scared. Maybe
thinking of
a cat
would help.
Have you
the video of
the one
waddling into
the ocean
to be with
her friend?
She swims
onto his
and they stay
When they’re done,
she beelines
through sand
to the towel
he set up
on the
and he pours
water to
heat her up
before he rubs
her down.
Sometimes we
have to remember
the world before.
We don’t know
what’s going
to happen.
Kingsford and DQ
are especially
at a time
like this.
are we
to do?
Not pet
Right now,
DQ is snoring
on the blue
blanket of
the futon
a worry.
Our first
three years
have been
that soft.
I hope
this passes
Until then
we will squeeze
each other–
our cats
close, all of
us afloat.


It’s daunting, the path
leading out
to the world.

My car’s been
out of use
for weeks

and rusts
on the street.

I’d prefer simpler
chalk ghosts
on concrete–

now, don’t
come so close.

Self-Isolation (Day Twenty-Three – April 5, 2020)

In the morning light that surprised in all the surrounding
darkness of the era I am only hungry for the world to change

its tune from Virus Major to Canis Minor like back when all
the sad dogs sought regular companionship through the day.

Though home is where the heart is (TJ MAXX propaganda)
the heart is home far too often, staring to the sky in need of

a long embrace from ever-shifting clouds that spread thinner
and thinner by the wings of blackbirds gloriously racing

through the whiteblue plane.


James Croal Jackson (he/him/his) is a Filipino-American poet. He has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and recent poems in DASH, Sampsonia Way, and Jam & Sand. He edits The Mantle ( He works in film production in Pittsburgh, PA. (

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *