Pandemic Haiku


by Lesléa Newman


Leaping out of bed
eager to kickstart my day,
then I remember

Closet full of clothes,
What should I put on today,
night gown or sweat pants?

Outside my window,
sun-dappled forsythia
blooming unaware

Neighbors cross the street,
six feet apart much preferred
to six feet under

Groceries arrive,
cleaning each can in wonder,
Will this one kill me?

Outside for a walk
close friends keeping their distance
sad smiles under masks

Inside watching screens
distant friends zooming in close
sad smiles on laptops

Kids study at home
the first March in eighteen years
with no school shootings

Cough tickles my throat—
Hay fever or corona?
Heaven only knows.



Lesléa Newman has created 75 books for readers of all ages including the poetry collections, Still Life with Buddy, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard (novel-in-verse), I Carry My Mother, and the forthcoming, I Wish My Father. Her literary awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. From 2008 to 2010, she served as the poet laureate of Northampton, MA. Currently she teaches at Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing. Stella Bellow is an illustrator currently attending Parsons School of Design in New York City.

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