There were thoughts we would make it through,
but didn’t: the crushing deaths at Elmhurst, each
night watching Lives Well Lived on screens— it
suffused the town with a communal mourning.

Covered Hi at the PO, then shopping for greens,
dodging neighbors’ grocery carts — going through
the motions: extras in a movie half written, while
exhausted nurses hold hands with dying patients.

We missed church lobster rolls; Lucy sculpture
crashed down; drove past more lights on hills,
while those in nursing homes waited in panic,
separate and silent, confinement stretching out.

Applause and songs for cops and cashiers, those
cleaning corridors and stocking shelves, those
EMTs and firefighters, for chefs serving meals
for free, for veterans alone, for those out of work.

The world so badly divided — long lines in Queens,
field hospitals on soccer fields; not knowing who
is positive as numbers rose. Our task: to stay apart,
and realizing now what is essential — others.

We stayed on the phone, offering updates, urging
friends to play the long game: promising dinners
soon. Then speaking outside at a town meeting —
see an ally: grins brightening with only our Ayes.