8:00 PM

by Jennifer Jay, 04/10/2020, Traverse City, MI

Adult Category


I’m made of steel. Until 8:00 PM. Then the church bells ring and then the bagpiper plays Amazing Grace. I don’t know where the piper is exactly, somewhere along the shores of the Boardman River, on the border of my neighborhood. And I ring my bell. It’s 8:00 PM. As a show of community, and in support of the front line, we ring our bells. It’s the first time of the day I feel anything at all, the rest of the day is autopilot: steel. But at 8:00 PM I hear the bells, I hear the bagpipe, I ring my bell in support of my daughter – a paramedic in a big city, very much on the front line. The bagpipe ends. The bell ringing ends, my neighbor across the street asks how I’m doing. And I ask him. We’re both OK. And I can finally cry and feel the madness of this time. In the morning, I’ll be steel again. But at 8:00 PM I’ll be human.