Mosaic Community Essays


March 3rd 2020
World Wildlife Day
At United Nations
New York 
The last event there due to covid
A whisper around town
Is this virus for real?
Dinner with Gary
Wants to meet me in LA
I say – stay in NY – not safe to fly
I’m going to family in RI not LA
Shrugs his shoulders, flies the next day
comes back and dies from Covid
All within 2 weeks
Bye Gary, bye bye

Maria always offered me respite in Ireland
I was so happy to see a Skype message “let’s talk”
Her son was on the other end of the call
Oh, this can’t be good I said, he said no
Around the same time Gary and I were having dinner in NY
Maria and her driver went to her annual checkup at the doctors and then home, they got Covid
He almost died, she did
Bye Maria, Bye

My world becomes black
I freeze in my tracks
People around me are split
This is not real, Don’t buy the BS some say
Ooh, but My experience is real, 
my friends that died are real,
to me Covid is real

what to do
I’ve got to find joy
in the desolate space of lockdown
a complete rewiring of my body and emotional system
my 6 feet, 
my space
give it to me please

forced to re-evaluate 
Values, empathy, judgement
That pile of things I always wanted to do, done – gone
Find joy
go visit places of home from long ago 
Meshanticut Lake, Cranston
Federal Hill, Providence
I drove to Shannock and Adamsville and 
even crossed the border to 
Hear the lion roar at South Attleboro zoo
I would drive to water, there is lots in RI you see
and send videos of waves crashing
to friends who live far from here

solace in knowing 
joy would fill my soul
and my friends’ souls
From a long lost home, Rhode Island
I’m now a snowbird, re-building my roots back
making new friends & discoveries in the Ocean State.

—Susan Johnston
Rhode Island & California
Ramonita Cuba Almonte
Xuan Huynh

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