Space Oddity. A poem by Josephine LoRe

The exhaustion is real
The fear is real
People going the wrong way down the aisle
Sunshine feeding our bodies
The melt of snow on lawn, like the slow retreat of glaciers
—All real

I moved my workspace

The first few days I wanted to be close to the fire
To feel its warmth
I made a throne of pillows and a nest of blankets
Tea every few hours
Yoga, letting the dog out, washing dishes by hand
Scented soap in a sink so I can look out to spruce trees
Hear the morning concerto of birds
See squirrels and hares
And toddlers in snowsuits because their parents
Want them to crawl and jump
To feel the snow with both hands
To dawdle and escape the confines of walls

Now I sit at the desk in my bedroom
With a wall of windows looking out onto the trees
And along window letting out onto the street

What beautiful distractions today—
All those people going out for a walk
I wonder if they knew how enviously I was spying them

I got out as well
Not reluctantly like these past days of heavy grey
But lightheartedly

I want the ice to go away
I want to wear sandals and a floppy hat
I want to lose my way in the Hulls’ Woods
Follow the path of the Bow
Reach into my backpack for almonds, apricots
Find a place in the sun

The couple next door have a new baby
It would be wrong to show up with a gift
That needs to be disinfected
So I wait

I wait

Tomorrow I see my students again
They are in small squares on the screen
I see their kitchens, their living rooms
The stuffed toys on top of their wardrobes
The bins in the bonus room
The rafters of the unfinished basement
The trees outside at their cabin by the lake

They wear hope and headphones
The seriousness of their studies on their shoulders

The other day an astronaut read a children’s book
In the zero gravity of space
And I feel like that
Like we are each in our pods
Tethered by the tender thread of technology

Can you hear me, Major Tom?


A pearl in this diamond world … Josephine LoRe is a prize-winning covid-bound poet whose work has now been published in nine countries in print and on-line literary journals: Canada, US, England, Japan, India, China in translation, Wales, France, and Ireland. She has two collection s, Unity and The Cowichan Series, which was number one on the Calgary Herald Bestseller’s List and her poetry is included in numerous anthologies including haiku and tanka anthologies, The War Memory Project, TapPress Read, YYC Portraits of People, and the upcoming (M)othering anthology. Josephine features frequently at live and virtual literary events, and by day is cleverly disguised as a Junior High French Immersion teacher of Languages and Humanities. She has an MA in Comparative Literature from l’Université de Rouen and a BA in Modern Languages and Literature from the University of Toronto.

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