On my morning covid walk at a Little Free Library

RW Klarin resides in the formerly bohemian/ hippie district now notoriously techie Silicon Beach in Santa Monica.  He published a volume of poetry Expression is Liberation  in 2010.

Walking  down  the quiet streets of my beachside neighbourhood and seeing
—Young couple both wearing stylish black masks walking their suitably small dog
—Chronic homeless guy on a bike sifting through the recycling bin
—Older bicyclist racing on a ten-speed on my street now that the beach path is closed
—Porsche Macan speeding down Highland Ave with forty-something staring  straight ahead
And still, the sun shines brightly after last night’s rain, small pleasures
I look and note and breathe slowly now, I do almost everything slower now;
talking, bathing, hand-washing, shopping, and household chores.
No rush, nowhere I can go for distraction.  This retreat without end digs deep.
An even more desultory scene greeted me at the grocery store with a half-hour wait inline
with employees playing games to amuse the sullen customers.
The novelty is off now, the novelty of isolation, the novelty of a global health threat, the novelty of the stock market crash, and anxious wondering prevails.
A novel coronavirus has done what a recession or war alone could not—stop EVERYTHING all at once.
Stopping is easy, but starting again will be slow and painful.
What do we open first?  The beaches?  The golf courses? The places of worship?  The bars?  The hiking trails?  The movie theaters?  The borders?
The old doctor says maybe in the fall schools can open and maybe not
Perhaps  the basketball season can start in the fall with no spectators or not.
Imagining this is all a dream, but it’s not.
The utter fragility of life stares at all of us and reminds us to
Breathe and see, really see that Monarch butterfly and that lonely possum.