On a planet light years away
From this raggedy Earth
Observing our comings and goings
As a microbiologist
Would view the activity
Within a cell,
And curious about what the purpose
Of all the fevered movement
Might be about.
I imagine that astronomer
Glued to her telescope
And noticing one day
That the breakneck pace of life
Upon the once-bustling tiny orb
Has diminished dramatically
And many areas formerly jam-packed
With a kind of unconstrained vitality
Have become virtually empty
I imagine the astronomer
Conferring with her colleagues
For help in puzzling out
The sudden cessation.
That she is witnessing the death
Of a distant world.
Others suggest it is a metabolic pause
Necessary in order to recalibrate
And re-integrate all systems
To keep everything humming nicely along.
The astronomer herself
Is able to arrive at no conclusions
But she remains at her telescope
Absorbed by what she supposes
Could be a life-or-death drama
Taking place in that faraway world
Yet is to her
Simply an intriguing astronomical anomaly
Occurring long, long ago
And far, far away.
Buff Whitman-Bradley and his wife Cynthia are relying on digital technology to keep in touch with their young grand daughters, but ache to be able to romp in the woods with them again. Buff's poems have appeared and many print and online journals. His latest book is "Crows with Bad Writing." He podcasts poems reflecting on aging, memory and mortality at thirdactpoems.podbean.com This poem expresses the uncertainty many feel about the ultimate outcome of the current crisis -- and future ones.