COVID Teaches Me

by Mike Sherry
inspired by the Goat Rodeo Allstars

COVID teaches me that I can grow passionfruit on my patio
That bluebirds will nest more than once if you give them a box
And that fresh-picked blueberries are even more delicious
When wrested from thieving pigeons

COVID teaches me that having a project helps me get up in the morning
That building a raised bed or a birdhouse
Gives me hope even when I hear
An ambulance whose siren sounds like people gasping for breath

COVID teaches me that you have to master place value before regrouping
That even a brilliant eight-year-old can be reduced to tears
By an unresponsive keyboard
Or an impatient father

COVID teaches me that a single sentence can be 
Not only a plea, but a battle cry, a rallying call
Still, I can’t breathe, if I watch,
But I can’t look away

COVID teaches me that small talk is not important
Except when a quiet chat about something beautiful
Like my neighbor’s hibiscus blooming
Over the fence, six feet away
Is the most human connection I’ve had that morning.

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