Day of Distancing


A poem (and illustration) by Prartho.

Woman at window by Pratho

Enter the ways of morning, the body
of morning—the waking of bee and leaf,
spider and newt. The way morning sun catches
in the threads that usher thoughts
between the trees, visible only in this light.

Have you noticed how, when we finally let go,
all we’ve ever wanted comes?
By which I mean love—not the come-and-go,
flare-and-fade kind, but love as a cloud of gnats
you can walk through, or as the kingfisher’s
impossible stillness on his branch above the lake.

How did we come to think we had no time for this?

These days seem mostly to give us ourselves,
over and over… happy to take us, to break us open—
wider, deeper and more true.

My grandsons want to visit—all 4 of them, strong
and singular as the four directions. And my sable-skinned
granddaughter—queen of the night. I want
to take each one in my arms. Oh, what the hell,
I say when no one is listening, let me die of hugging.

But instead I stay inside and hold them
here—distanced and masked.

Most things are smaller now, except for what’s big—
like when our hearts break each day and set loose
the strands the weavers will use in the night—
threading them at lake’s edge to catch the morning light.

Illustration by the author


Prartho is a poet, artist and designer. She is Marin County’s fourth Poet Laureate (California) –

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