Freeze Frame

Stuck in the age of Covid-19, racing to nowhere except a way out of this box to which the world has been condemned, a prison cell of prevention, or not, for those unlucky thousands who carry coronavirus with them to their graves, leaving the rest of us to worry about droplets lingering for days on Amazon delivery boxes, empty grocery store shelves, dirty gas pump handles, or our own Fido’s nose, even a child’s hand fresh from a playground jungle gym when the real jungle is Mother Earth spinning in all her infected glory, laughing as she twirls leaving that voice message that cries, “I told you so.”

—Victoria Emmons, copyright 2020


What do you do in Suburbia
when the sky
turns rain time blue
at 2 in the afternoon

and the wind
blows the moss
horizontal for the first
time in months

and the trees
rub against
each other’s boughs
heralding a storm

and the hard, wet
sounds of rain
hit the asphalt
on your street

What do you do in Suburbia
when you wish
you had an Andrew Wyeth field
to run in, but

all you can see is
a concrete gutter
and 14 neat rectangles
of prescribed lots

when you strain to
hear the thunder
but your neighbor’s
mower drowns you out

and you look to see
sky and Earth touch, but you can’t
because TV antennae and dogs
let out to toilet are in the way

What do you do in Suburbia
wait until the cursed shower
hangs on every leaf
and disguises humankind

–Victoria Emmons © 1979