Our Brave New World

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

Sometimes a poem needs a preface, the laying down of a foundation for why and how the poem was written. Today’s poem is self-explanatory and inspired by this article/interview from The Atlantic.

For those who know me, I am generally speaking an introvert who has learned to adapt to an extroverted world. I teach, so learning to adapt has been critical for my career.

So, for all the ‘verts out there, whichever side of the fence you find yourself on, this is for you. It’s a whole new world (*cue Aladdin music for the intro*).

For All the ‘Verts 

When the world was ours,
we went out for drinks
and dinner and dancing;
we attended exciting games
and bonded with strangers
as we jammed ourselves
onto a single bleacher row
at a football game.

We brought our dogs to parks
and chatted over lattes
about all that was wrong
until all was wrong—
and then
silence.

We stayed home.

We cast furtive glances,
sometimes judgement,
and always suspicion to folks
walking without masks;
dogs were kept in yards,
playgrounds were taped off,
driving was solitary
and for emergencies
or necessities only.

Faces covered,
we barely looked up
through steamy lenses;
the pandemic crippled us—
crippled our social lives—
changes so dramatic
even the extroverts
agreed staying home
was the best choice.

And now,
life is unfolding
like a flower again,
but nothing
is the same.

The cautionary tale
of COVID-19 lurks
on the ledge of our lips,
the horrific stories
of all the Great Uncle Joes
getting sick on Monday
and dying on Thursday
are whispered to children.

People without masks
are given untrusting glances.
Are they carriers?
Are they vaccinated?
Can vaccines be trusted?
Is Big Pharma
really the devil?

Anxiety
isn’t
just
for
introverts
anymore.

We
Are
All
A
Little
Afraid.

Diving headfirst
into a sea of people
isn’t a great idea
for anyone anymore.

Instead,
we are making choices
that reflect intentionality—
non jam-packed schedules
might actually be a preferred
way of living.

Some of us have learned
the value of simply being.

And
we are
discovering in the
process that the
world is still
very much
ours.

—A Draft Poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

How are you feeling about our brave new world?

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