Two years ago, my youngest and I quarantined for whatever the period was then, five days perhaps. I painted the inside window trim on the front and upstairs glassed-in front porches the loveliest pale blue. My daughter recovered quickly, almost instantaneously; I tested negative, over and over, kept painting and listening to the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd, hours and hours and hours.

Soon after, I was vaccinated at the high school on a cold April day. It was snowing lightly, as it was today. I knew some of the volunteers who had come out of retirement to aid the state in vaccinating. Afterwards, I sat in the gym as we had been asked to wait. I sat near a man who I had worked with before the pandemic, before I changed jobs, too. We talked about work and kids and how our lives had changed, and we kept talking even after each of us had been told we could leave. I had plenty to do — oh, how there’s always plenty to do — but I lingered. Each one of us had our story that day that seemed filled with such quiet, such orderliness, so much hope.

My daughter was learning to drive that spring. She drove to spring soccer practice, and we sat in the car before one practice, listening to the Chauvin trial verdict. The geese had returned to the open river. While she played, I stood outside the closed town library. The bulletin board was empty of notices of events, as if time had dwindled to nothingness.

Spring: a mighty season. The earth will do what it will.

“Spring Snow”

Rain of remembering;
late snow turning to rain.
Then in the cold house,
alone in bed,
the soft stutter on the roof,
random phrases; your voice,
only your voice. How can
it be that voice that touched
me everywhere?
And what you said,
if only I could hear it again
in its intensity.
Essence distilled
in the moment of waking,
the delicate mold and odors
of the breaking apart of winter,
in the soft snow that comes
between the past and the chill
distillation, the whisper of air
split between the perfume
of melting crystals; the clasp
and letting go.

— Ruth Stone

4 thoughts on “Might.

  1. There are things I miss about that part of the pandemic. That sense of orderliness and coming together, and also the hope that with all the change happening around us we might be able to make big changes too. I miss feeling so present and I miss the possibilities.
    Great poem.

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