Barbara Leeds > Samples > Pandemic Poems >

Opening Up

June 2020
Barbara Leeds

After months of lockdown
Free at last
People flock
Back to stores, gyms, restaurants
Walk down the middle of the sidewalk
Talking, joking, high-fiving

An old man sits on a park bench
Coughing into open air
The bench still bears a sign
“Park benches closed until further notice”

Pandemic not over
Not by a long shot
120,000 Americans dead
And counting
But election looms
Tanking economy
Embarrasses a president

People too close
The few with masks
Wear them
Around their necks
“Inconvenient,” “Uncomfortable,” “Uncool”
Would you prefer a ventilator?

My friend died last night
In place

Copyright 2020 Barbara Leeds