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March 27, 2020

by Chris Sorrenti


I locked the door
walked outside
mildly apprehensive
a peculiar new kind of afraid
having already been briefed
on what to expect
though my street no different
than it had been before

But as I ventured down the path
towards the local mall
quickly became aware
a different kind of energy
permeated all around
so thick
it just hung in the air

As soon I happened upon some others
Immediately wondered
what was going on in their heads
people who all walked
at a short distance from one another
whether strangers or friends
and some of them wore masks

And it set me to wondering
what had I walked into?
some sort of alternate reality???
like a science fiction movie I’d seen
under any number of guises
not to mention a series called
The Twilight Zone

Reality imitating Art imitating History
Whether it be 9/11
1998 Ice Storm
Hurricane Hazel
the Cold War
WWI…Spanish Influenza
and going back even further
The Black Death

At the plaza
many stores were closed
each having its own version
of explanatory sign
mentioning either virus or pandemic
subtly or obviously leading to

Lots more masks

Pet Valu was open
but would only
just let me through the door
thank goodness the staff knew me
I told them what I wanted
paid for it from where I stood
and then was on my way

The Wine Shop was closed
so I hopped on a bus
for a short ride to the liquor store

Yellow tape blocked off the front compartment
to protect the driver
rear boarding only
another sign saying
OC Transpo could no longer accept cash
the few people on board
well-spaced apart

Arriving at the liquor store
once inside
free to move wherever I wanted
while of course
practicing social distancing
then up to the cash
where strips of red tape marked the floor
every six feet
long lineups
with everybody in varying degrees
of thought
wondering what they were thinking
though the vibe was overall
relatively calm

Once back home
turned on the television
to check on my city
the world

Every day
the government offers more and more incentives
to help the masses
keep them calm
with $200 billion deficit
looming on the horizon
wondering how we’ll pay for it
while at the same time
most of us doing our part
to flatten the curve

© 2020

310 hits as of November 2020


Posted on 04/02/2020
Copyright © 2021 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 04/02/20 at 04:57 AM

Chris, you've really laid out well the feeling we are experiencing right now. I heard Walmart in some countries is going to start having one-way lanes in their aisles! Wow!

Posted by Glenn Currier on 04/08/20 at 04:37 PM

I like the lines where you are wondering what others are wondering. It does seem like an alternate reality. I keep thinking that I'll wake up from this nightmare and all will be well, my retirement fun intact and my life back to normal. But so far, no cigar. Thanks for your poem, Chris.

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