Under Quarantine

by Paul Maxbauer, 05/24/2020, Traverse City, mi

Adult Category


Under Quarantine

What is a remedy for anxiety and fear,
fellow travelers in the spread of the viral pandemic?

The fear of death
that disrupts our economy and routines,
cancels travel plans,
casts shadows on the future,
conforms us to demands for confinement,
locks us in our homes where TV news shouts at us,
robs us of our peace,
sedates us with digital entertainment.

All the days in quarantine melt together,
follow the last, all the same.

One could listen to bird songs before rising,
observe cardinals, mourning doves and
robins in spring courtship,
pursuing mates for nesting season,
the urgent cycle of increase.

Go to a river and walk its banks,
watch trout holding in clear water,
fins and tails showing an economy of motion,
moving sideways to catch nymphs,
always alert to dangers,
quick to flee from shadows cast by the kingfisher and osprey.

Why does one ride a bike but to stay alive?
Feel muscles working,
the thrill of acceleration descending a hill,
shifts in balance rounding a corner,
new energy from exertion, fresh air and sunshine.

Isn’t it better to get outside often,
away from the media cocoon,
find moments of grace in the world and hold onto them?