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To My Daughter During a Pandemic

by Greg Watson


What will you remember of

this, my precious one,

when the years have collected

in you like the incalculable

orbits inside the hearts of trees?

Will you recall the quiet,

the darkened windows of storefronts

reflecting our movements

as we passed, masks erasing

the faces of the few out walking,

those who once greeted

you with smiles and waves?

Will you recall your own shrieks

of laughter playing indoors,

the forts constructed from pillows

and blankets, as if this was the safest

corner of the world we could find?

Or perhaps you will remember

the robins and house finches answering

the calls you practiced daily,

how the rabbits became almost

unafraid, soft gray clouds scattered

upon the lawns, allowing you to

get nearly within reach

with your outstretched hand.

I hope you will somehow remember

the wonder of the world pausing

before it opens all at once for you.

I hope you will remember how

we still held hands while crossing

the street, though no cars

were coming from either side;

we held each other just the same.