Monday, March 16, 2020

What are the Sounds of Social Distancing?

What are the sounds of social distancing?
When did that become a word, a thing, a step, a plan, a prescription?
What are the sounds of a world trying to come together by staying apart?
What are the sounds emanating through suburban houses and downtown apartments and condos,
as we hear each other, sense each other, try to stay busy, try to stay sane,
and then wonder if it is OK to feel OK with isolation. 
Will we be OK in isolation? Will we be OK with isolation? 
Wasn’t Dr. Putnam’s story of bowling alone a warning?
We are not meant to bowl alone.
Weren’t we just fretting about division and separation and a splintering of our identities?
What are the sounds of a world in uncertainty?
Was that a cough? Can you hear me from six feet away? Can you feel me?
A car on the streets whispers by -- where are they going? 
Is that a delivery truck in the lot at King Soopers? 
Enough with the jokes about toilet paper.
Is there enough toilet paper?
Please don’t fight over the Charmin.
What are the sounds?
What are the sounds of “All Clear”?
What are the sounds of tension easing?
What are the sounds of students and workers returning, of stores restocking,
of cafes and restaurants and coffee shops reopening, of actors acting, of performers performing,
of athletes playing, of airplanes flying, of border restrictions easing, of suspicions fading,
of medical workers relaxing, of bodies healing, of communities healing, of cities healing,
of countries healing, of politics healing, of society healing ….

What are the sounds?

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