In whispers it came, hush and slow-spread

shaped as the voiceless sphere 

of a dandelion,

cities lit at night under planes.

It did not come wriggling, slithering, 

or crashing.

It came drifting, hanging like air,

caught in pearls of breath 

sparkling over everything we sigh about, settling.

Replicated in dark creases 

inside our heads and chests, 

the fibers of our hearts,

winter cold.

Silent streets, 

jagged line graphs, rising numbers,

hospitals afloat in the harbors,

bright white bundles, rolls and rolls, 

biohazard, poppy red, 

mouthless grimace, 

no toilet paper. 

“Close down the schools,” the order came.

“Now we are learning this.”

Tears of God and all Gods

fold the mountain, exhale fog,

as ghosts of the girdled  

echo their fallings in the forest, 

being morning breezes. 

No more coffin wood, only bleak sunlight,

no tooth-leaved shade. 

Scurry squirrels,

dig and dig and dig.

“Forget the fallen,” old hunger says. 

“Now we are learning this.”

Redbud procession, same as before, 

only difference in details:

new branches, new blooms.

Creeks surge and wither, slightly

frogs begin chorusing 

their one-season world. 

Up through the parking lots

empty elementary school, 

empty pool    –

uncautious shoots of new green rise

through soil made of dust,

bones, bark, rock worn to sand

under asphalt.

Once a giant, stubborn roots hold tight.

Unnoticed on ridgelines,

small striving trees, 

not yet choked out by blight, 

grow, seeking the light

because – really –

what else is there to do?

“Now we are learning this.”

[Note misspelling of last name]

Now we are learning this. 

Hi, thank you all for creating encouragement to make poetry during National Poetry Month. 
I have attached a poem entitled Now We Are LearningThis as a .docx. Please let me know if you have any trouble accessing the file or if a different format is preferable.  
Have a great afternoon!

Thank you for your poem. I am forwarding to the judges. 
Since I am not a judge, I can say in my humble opinion, 
 this is an amazing poem. Although amazing is an overused phrase; this time it fits.
  I have read it twice. It is gorgeous read aloud.
This made my day. 

Thank you so much for forwarding the poem!
It meant a lot to me to write it. My mom picked up the notice of the contest at the library and gave it to me, so she was on my mind a lot as I wrote. 
Thank you so much for reading and enjoying the poem. That made my day.

I am delighted to report that you are one of the two winners in the adult category  of the Library Poetry Contest.   There was a tie. 
  As you know, I loved your poem! Amazing is a word often overused.  It describes your poem perfectly.
  Because we only had 4 entries at the time where we had to commit to the Zoom Event, we could not do it. 
 I have your prize. I can mail it or we can meet somewhere in Fairview. Please let me know what works.
 Are you published anywhere? I would like to read more of your work.
 Thank you for entering.

Oh, that’s great news! How exciting!
This is the first time I’ve ever won anything for writing. I’m not published anywhere – but, hope to be someday! 
I am working on putting together a little website for my artwork and writing. I’ve spent most of my energies over the past couple decades on family and working in nonprofits. I am in the process of learning how to better follow my passion for doing good in the world through arts. 

I hate to ask, but do you know if the poem will be printed in the Fairview Town Crier? 
I’d love for my mom to see a poem I wrote in print. 
As many of her ‘library friends’ know, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year and she knows I have always wanted to be a poet. 
It would make her so happy to see the poem printed! 
I understand if there isn’t space in the layout, but just wanted to ask. 
Thanks so much for liking the poem! 💜