by Connie Carmichael
When we walk back to explore the world again,
it will be from the shyness of our doorways
and the brokenness of a world wanting to change.
We have all of the answers
We know what to do because we were there
when the dust exploded and the stars fell
scattered and messy into that first night.
Walk back with a gift.
Pick me up in your car America,
Mama, take me for a ride.
Show me the beauty in this beast,
show me hope in every crack and crevice,
show me the flood, the light, and the dream.
Tell me about the ecstasy of the ride
and all of your hallelujah moments.
And after driving through the glitter
when time slides back to where we start,
America, show me the wheel you need to invent
for this awful aching in your heart.
Connie Carmichael is a former mental health care worker, now retired and living in Columbus, Ohio. She has a previously published chapbook titled Driving to Wellsville. She is living through this pandemic with a loving wife, a loyal dog, and a head full of poems. Varada J.M. is a 9th-grader based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, studying at Rani Public School, Vadakara. After hurriedly doing homework, Varada divides her time between practicing classical dance and watching horror films. She loves dogs but nobody at home wants one.