Dancing Buttercups

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Artist credit: Annelea

The world is beginning to dream again and so are we. I see strength returning to Tracy’s spirit, and it does my heart good. She was able to use her walker to walk to the sink, sit down and wash up her face and arms in the sink today. A milestone!

She said it felt so good. She changed into a personal nightgown and felt like a whole new person.

We are hoping to get her into in patient rehab on Monday but it is pending insurance approval. You know how it is…

It is not good enough that doctors, nurses, and Physical and Occupational therapists recommend it. No, the insurance company, not her personal medical team, must approve it first. Please pray with us she can go.

On another note, my dear friend Annelea has launched her website. Trust me, you want to click that hyperlink and check it out; she is a gifted artist.

I am honored to continue a collaborative process Annelea and I began several years ago. I write—she paints.

This poem is the second in our most recent collaboration. I am writing poetry for the paintings on her website.

After this year of pandemic and quarantine and staying home, I am ready for dancing buttercups on a far away shoreline. I hope you are swept away with joy and hope and dreams of summer.

Buttercup Dreams

I slept
in a field
of buttercups

down
by the Cape
where salty air

and shipwrecks
drift together
near the rocks

buttercups
with orange-tip
butterflies nestled

finally free
once again
to dream

How
shall I
bear the joy

of living again
in this glorious
invincible summer?

—a draft of Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Our Brave New World

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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?