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Shelter in Place

Teresa Compton

Poetry

Creativity demands fodder. Covid 19. Videos of exhausted and emotionally drained medical personnel, respirators, graphs, safety protocol, those at risk.  All leave me numb and overwhelmed with worry and sadness. More than I can grasp. However, if there ever was fodder it would be now. If not now, when?

Shelter in Place

 

Ab initio.  From the beginning.

418 Colorado Boulevard.

821 Willow Street.

524, 608, 705, 820, 821, 831 West Kansas Avenue.

My friends lived in houses with those numbers

and for a marvelous number of years we sat

on each other’s porches, strolled babies

to Dairy Queen, carpooled, ate lunch

in the Chinese restaurant.  Then 524, 608,

705, 820,821,831, and 418 each in their own time

moved away. Needed sand between their toes.

Libraries. Doctors. Shops.  Citrus trees and bees.

Got old.  Died. Their homes sold. Cleared out.  

New people parked their vehicles in front.

They painted buttermilk white to bright white. 

Salmon to pink.  Green to tan.

We are the only ones left from half century ago.

And now.  And now.  We too are old and slow.

 

Lobis medium. The middle.

I like Laurie from California next door

in the pink house;  however, she never comes out. 

NEVER. 

During the Holidays I wake up to see

Christmas tinsel on her pine tree

or Easter eggs in the planter, so

I guess she just likes to decorate at night.

 

Charlie in the tan house.  Former Chef.  

Well, like loads of greybeards who seem to

have appeared and walk their miniature dogs

around the block now-a-days, he does as well. 

At 5:30. Winter, summer, spring and fall. 5:30 AM.

Never misses a day. Then Boom.  He’s gone.

 

The lady in the bright white house across the street

might be nice.  I don’t know.  I went over there

3 times to bring a ‘Welcome’ basket. 

She never answered the door so we

ate apples, oranges, kiwi, and peaches for weeks.

 

The man next to her has a disabled son

who I only see when the school bus comes

to pick the boy up.  Hum. 

I brought them a basket too.

 

Esperanza, the jewelry artist, just stays in her ‘space’.

She’s originally from New York and then Denver.

She has neon red hair and long thick black lashes. 

At 70 she wears leopard leggings.  Fur coats.

Once she asked me to take her to the dentist.

She got the tooth fixed and that was that.

 

Mike, another Methuselah, moved here from South Carolina

because he likes to smoke legal pot. He doesn’t need many

creature comforts.  One room. Hot plate/bed/toilet/table

combo he heats with wood. Bathtub serves to wash him,

dishes, as well as clothes. Other rooms are empty.

Some days he sits in his truck for hours and hours

and hours.  Stoned out of his mind. Looks for keys.

 

Not  much camaraderie around here now.

It’s kind of ghosty. So many riches then.

Too many memories shadow me in the afternoon.

Occasionally  I wonder if I imagine these new neighbors,

but then Laurie appears at my door. Flip flops, coat askew.

Heaves a supersize Hersey candy bar into my hand.

 

Terminus. The end.

In 2020 Covid 19 appeared. 

We were all told to stay home.

Lock down!

CDC. 

We are years ahead of you.