It is an adventure, all this time at home.
Hannah shows everyone her swan drawing.
We clap as a pale pink letter S swims past.
Mirabelle has painted a thank you card
for those who drop mail, packages on her
porch – a girl, garbed in rainbows amidst
a shower of hearts. We clap once again.
Cameron plays Fleur de Lis but only
once we promise he will not appear on
camera. Their parents have been directing
each day like Hollywood auteurs waving
megaphones, even as they manage work-
from-home demands. We older adults are
still screen-shy. This viral world of zoom, skype
blackboard still too new to feel familiar.
We are used to raw energy’s comfort,
to depth of field beyond tiny images
perched like bird’s nests on our computer
screen’s upper corners. We want to go bigger,
hear background noises, hold hands, kiss cheeks.
Everyone gives an update: an early visit
to a local food market during senior only
shopping hours; a trip around the driveway
with hiking sticks meant for Glacier or Zion;
a poem in progress; a self-portrait glazed
in blue and black. Even the old dog is
hoisted into the conversation, though she
clearly prefers to dream of chasing squirrels.
We are torn about the virtues of virtual dialogue
but, lacking choice, plan for an on-line Seder.
We will all have more than four questions.
Mary K O'Melveny recently retired from a long career as a labor rights lawyer. She lives in Washington, DC and Woodstock, NY. Mary wrote poetry as a young woman but then set aside that part of her brain to work on legal issues affecting workers and enforcement of their rights. She has now returned to poetry, seeking its comforts and challenges as a way of making sense of our increasingly crazy world. Since "emerging" as a poet, Mary has been published in various journals, including FLARE: The Flagler Review, GFT Press, Allegro Poetry Magazine and Into the Void.