Collaboration: Day 22

Postcards from the Present Past
April 8, 2020

Dear Rick,
Triumph over sadness.
So happy to spend so much time alone
with my beautiful love. It’s like dating.

Dear JEM,
Remember these times
to bear witness, these times of sadness,
these times of reflection, these times
of grief and mourning for what was, and even,
at times, these times to dance. Remember,
these times, don’t ever forget, how
very precious life is, ever.

Dear Old Nan,
Well, there you are 87 years old
watching it rain from your window
at the Merry Old Folks Memory Care,
reminiscing about the 2020 pandemic.
Though you don’t remember what
you ate for lunch, you’ll never forget
donning masks, social distancing, missing
the touch of a hand, the warmth of a hug.
You survived, but thousands didn’t.
Such a loss. From,
Not Quite As Old Nan

Dear James,
As I write this, it rains.
This much rain in April is so rare, but
this time, it is appropriate. The sky cries
for those we have lost, for passing this life
alone because we have to be distant, for
those who fear science and medicine.
The dark daytime sky hangs like our worries
about our family far away, the students
who do not go to school, and the loss
of the simple gift of togetherness. Yet
the rain quenches a thirsty Earth, dispels
the death of drought, and moves on.
When you move on, remember.

Dear Natalie,
I’ll never forget going to stores
and not being able to buy milk, eggs
and toilet paper. But I enjoyed having time
to snuggle with my cats, Princess and Milo,
and write poetry again. I’ll always remember
seeing the glowing, shimmering
moon from my balcony last night.

Dear Stevie,
When the panic arose
and you saw the good and the bad
within yourself, you leaned into
the good parts and asked for
and offered others help.

Dear Gudelia,
I will never forget this
time during the Pandemic when
people were masked when out
and buying tons of toilet paper
like it was going out of style.
It was also a time when
staying home was nice.

Dear Barb,
Remember your Aunt,
whose dying was in the distance but
whose memories were close to your heart.
Remember how she flagged down help
when needed, how she had chocolate
with every meal, how her roots ran
deep and how her branches turned
and twisted into the air.

Dear Burcu,
There was a time
the World finally seemed to come
together to demystify a little
virus while the people humbled
in their own way in their houses
facing the weaknesses of their
own nature, regardless!

Dear Cati,
When you look back, remember
how nice it was to not wake up to an alarm,
how nice it was to have everyone home
under one roof.

Dear Cindi,
You’re 81. Celebrate!
Twenty years ago, they said it‘s deadly
for those over 60. Scary times.
Look at you….still here. Living each day
like it’s your last. That a girl!
Talk later, maybe in 20 more?

Hey Dar,
Didn’t really think
you would make it this far did you?
Where did those 79 wonderful years
filled with memories go? Not to
worry; it was only a beginning.
It starts again tomorrow!

Take care
of your teeth and they will
take care of you.

by Larry Burns, Dar Stone, Cindi Neisinger, Cati Porter, Burcu Misirli Chatham, Barbara Berg, Gudelia Vaden, Stevie Taken, Natalie Champion, Rick Champion, James Luna, Nan Friedley, Juanita Mantz