Friday, May 1, 2020


Hide and Seek with the Pandemic

We are not supposed to be out
No one is.
But that is not possible all day
in a small one bedroom apartment
even if you are at the center of a pandemic

so we walked, careful to cross
the street whenever we saw anyone else.
Careful to avoid all contact
like the panicked doctors on the news tell us.

There is still writing and books and television
but I miss my friends and museums and bars and bookstores
with a fierce unyielding need
like a second heart knotted in my chest.

We have each other and we are safe and being paid
and every day I run through the list of things I should be thankful for
instead of the list of things that I am missing

And today, on this walk
I watch a man in the park
hide behind a tree
and wait for his dog to find him.
It is a small act of joy
like when a piece of music moves you
or a painting in a gallery feels like a second home

I watch the dog find him, jumping
into his arms, I watch him laugh
and he sees me watching

and he waves.

And I hold back the tears
and add this man and his dog
to my list of things
I am thankful for.

--Ally Malinenko

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