Our eyes turned inward.
Suspicious of air,
We could not take spring
Deeply into our lungs,
Feel the warmth of it on our skin,
Taste the freshness of it on our tongues
We counted our first born
And tried prayer.
Had we forgotten the blood of the lamb
Above the lintel?
We sought protection in distance,
longing for human touch.
Hate and fear drained us.
We grew weary hearing–
Wash your hands
Don’t touch your face
Wash your hands
Prayed Mother Mary full of grace
Six to ten feet apart we must stand
We feared to touch
All the more–
Yes, this will make us aware—
Appreciate what now
We could not do.
Yes, we would improve,
We would appreciate all.
Technology would see us through.
Somewhere in our collective soul
We had doubts, questions–
We had to know–
Hadn’t there been signs?
HIV, Ebola, Bird flu, Swine flu,
Zika, West Nile too,
All killers, all unseen—
Natural disasters ripping
The world to shreds.
Had we done this to ourselves?
We hadn’t been the good stewards
We were charged to be.
Drowning seas with plastic, killing bees,
Melting ice caps, making greenhouse gases–
Killing the mother God gave us.
We hadn’t loved each other as we were loved,
As we were instructed to do.
Then our arrogance, a weed within our souls grew.
We killed, pillaged, maimed, raped, started wars–
For the one skin that made us master,
For the name of God, the only one to worship,
For riches, since the strong should prey upon the weak,
For gender, after all women were things to use,
For sexuality, holy books said there’s but one way to love,
For everything was ours to take.
We’d killed each other
For these grotesquely grandiose ideas,
While calling ourselves Godly,
Saying our actions were sanctioned
By our God, our religion.
Only we knew the natural order of things.
In pride, we claimed
Where we walked—
Then guilt filled our lungs,
We finally questioned—
Was this it–
The fourth seal broken?
Had the pale rider been loosed
Upon the land?
While wanting to believe
It was all simply science.
I am a retired teacher, enjoying everything that retirement means. In addition, I have been active in the LGBTQ community since I was four years old and marched my Ken doll with all his little Ken accouterments to the big metal trash can in the yard. Yes, I dumped Ken, along with said accouterments, into the can and slammed the lid on. My two Barbie dolls lived happily ever after.
You can read more of my writing at Hearing The Mermaids Sing