Pandemic Poem #25 / It’s Enough

This poem was written just after Easter. It was a first attempt at a response to a commission from City of Ballarat but it wasn’t right for the collaboration so it was shelved. I hope to be able to perform it at an open mic at some point soon.

It’s Enough
Our world becomes small
Retreating over borders
Doors closing over thresholds
Shrinking inside the four walls of our houses
But our compassion expands beyond our kids or spouses
It cannot be held captive
The way we used to care doesn’t cut it anymore
We’ve had to be inventive
Cultural chemists dispensing
Creative salves
Doses of digital music
IV art gallery tours
Poetic prompt pills popped
Library flavoured lozenges read aloud
Mixtures of dance moves
Tinctures made of love

It’s heartwarming
(like seeing a chalk rainbow on a driveway)
That people are turning crisis into opportunity 
All the things they never had the time to do
Are being done
And more

It’s exciting
(Like the anticipation of handmade cake arriving at your door)
And if you just want to eat that cake in your pyjamas
That’s ok too

Because wonder and depression are equally valid reactions
To the vision of a deserted tree-lined street
And if you just want to let the plane tree’s autumn colours
Pile up around your feet
That’s ok too

Because we’re all trying our hardest
And care can mean thinking about the most vulnerable among us
Or it can mean allowing yourself to rest
We’re all in this together
(Like a watching re-runs under a queen-sized doona)

Easter joy is a ribbon on your fence
A teddy in your window
And a slightly melted chocolate egg on your doorstep
Because even the churches are closed
The board game dust now blown into altars
Altering our lives isn’t easy
(Like a handful of coins to send a hot coffee to the hospital)
Is a disturbing showground mirror
What we thought was normal is actually grotesque
No, none of this is normal
Normal’s open to interpretation now
An invitation to redefine what it really means to belong
Not unity
But the validity of difference
With no one left behind
No one is unwanted
No one’s contribution is unworthy
No one’s voice is silence
We’re a community
And it’s enough

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