Last night I dreamed
of shaking hands with
strangers a succession of
palms pressed together
warm and dry and firm as if

in a receiving line at an
event we could not define
which might have been
a baptism or
a funeral or
a wedding of

our hopes and
fears in which touch
was healing maybe
sickening possibly
lethal and it was

worth it anyway to
be thus bound to
each other knowing
in communion we risk
perishing and
in isolation we

already are gone.

x-ray xray of hand





  1. I live in confinement as a choice. Since this morning, there’s national confinement in my country to protect the people from contagion of Coronavirus. I find no problem to cope with the situation but I hear that it’s very hard upon others who are used to socializing and meeting friends and family.
    πŸ™ πŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I am a strong introvert who prefers a good deal of solitude, so I’m your kindred spirit in that regard. But I am worried about our larger societal orientation toward the virus, which seems to be fear-based, and to prize physical safety above emotional, mental and spiritual health. Churches, gyms, therapy — traditional sources of resilience and support — are disappearing when most needed, and online substitutes are inadequate. The full cost of this extreme response to the virus will come due in time.
      Wishing you well!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with you, hoping that the virus will soon go back to where it comes.
        Looking forward to better days.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve read this two or three times before responding – surprised at how moved I am by your closing line. An optimist by nature, I expect this isolation decree to be temporary. Yet part of me knows “temporary” might go on longer than is healthy for many people – precautions for one health hazard creating a different health hazard. Some get their “human contact” fix on their jobs – now cut off from that – and this is no time to be courting off-work companions if you do not already live under the same roof. I am sad for anyone forced to isolate … whereas, I can comply easily, myriad things to do with a couple months staying put. But this may extend beyond its novelty, may really mess us up socially.
    Thank you for jolting my thoughts and emotions a bit – I needed that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful response, Jazz. I sense that the indirect costs of our response to the virus will be much greater than that of the virus itselt, in terms of mental illness, domestic violence and various other forms of emotional and spiritual malaise resulting from a mindset in which we treat each other as potential lepers. Our communal response should have been prudent; instead, it’s been paranoid. Disturbing and more damaging than has yet been acknowledged. Be well!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I can live (survive) in isolation, but I thrive when offered the chance of communion, even though I am an introvert. I’m happy to be sharing this time of social separation.


    1. “Social distancing” is kind of my norm as an introvert; I’m generally content with my family of animals which, at the moment, includes beautiful baby chicks, a delight and particular antidote to human craziness. We do seem to need other humans, though, so I am glad for the opportunities those of us who live singly find to connect in the flesh with each other. And glad you don’t have to leave home to find the same. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find myself wanting to retreat even more, which is sad to say. So I’ll reach out through email and texts and yes, poetry, hoping, in some small way, to connect with the separated. These are strange times!


        1. Strange, indeed, and evident of a malaise within our species that runs deeper and more destructive than any virus. May you and Stephanie be well, Bob.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I wonder what brought us to this stage? More questions…

          Liked by 2 people

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