Going the Distance
Local writers offer strength, hope, and solidarity in a time of social distancingAppearing in the print edition of the Benicia Herald, April 5, 2020
White ivory fingers tap dry rhythms
trumpets blare sour notes
out of tune cellos squeal
violins and violas whine
flute-stops fill with spit,
no sound escapes, hands stuffed
in French horns, blare discord
triangles without hammers,
bells lacking clappers,
pianos with covers shut
gather dust, keys silent,
harps with broken strings,
stretched beyond endurance
we long for harmony,
a return to a daily symphony,
we wait for a conductor
who knows the score.
The Last Banana
Today I bought the last banana at Raley’s, somebody left it, not on the wire hanging rack, but above it, undersize as it was, on the small display shelf, a token offering of benevolence perhaps in the “Shelter in place” chaos that currently infects our planet. I don’t understand the communist state whose occupants must eat bats, living upside down in infected caves or doorways, is this the measure of superlative governance? Are these Chinese-FDA regulated and inspected bats? Range-free? Gluten-free? No MSG? Or are they the scrub of edibles, Coronavirus-infected, overlooked for millennia by the non-existence of an imposter Donald Trump-equivalent, closing down the Chinese EPA (if it ever existed) or are they Tariff-complicated, proving something to somebody in the aftermath of who delayed public disclosure the most, or the longest for whose political expedience? Who will win the Tariff Wars or lose the most innocent, hapless residents in deaths to this first pandemic of this generation? Bananas and bats and Banana Republics, the countries continue, shelter in place.
I look askance, paste on a smile;
Heart produces a flutter.
My brain flits to a different place,
one I had never known before.
Questions cluster around the heart…next?
Not today. Tomorrow?
The uncertainty creeps deeper and I only have passed one walker.
Send your poems or short prose to Mary Susan Gast for possible inclusion in this column as we support one another during the coronavirus pandemic. Email to msgast45 at gmail dot com.
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