By Abigail Marshall
after Kelli Russell Agodon, Love Waltz with Fireworks
A few months ago, I was sitting in a cafe
with my friend, enjoying a latte and
talking about what the future would hold
I was volunteering at bustling soup suppers,
serving smiling gray-haired patrons
and laughing with people I love
I was wrapping my arms around my friend in
a reckless embrace, never worried that
something so simple could be taken away.
Making pancakes in the afternoon, study sessions
in a quiet cafe, walks around the mall.
Morning coffee meetups and lunch dates.
Don’t take this for granted, I want to whisper
into the ear of my old self, who could never
see what was coming.
Not just to her, but to everyone. A new couple,
holding hands as they walk, a grandchild, wrapping
his little arms around his grandmother’s waist.
A comic bookstore owner, greeting customers and chatting
about the latest issue. The woman browsing the aisles
at the bookstore, looking for a new cookbook to try.
The colorful, emotional, vibrant world that I was lucky
enough to experience, stolen away by
an invisible thief. A thief who steals life.
A thief who locked everyone inside their homes.
Hid their faces behind stifling facemasks.
Stole their freedom and their livelihood.
I long for the day when that thief is apprehended,
when doors can open again, when we have a
newfound appreciation for all that we lost.
A day that keeps running farther away,
a day that we may never catch.