Thursday, October 15, 2020

In Proper Measure: Life in The Time of Covid-19

Our world has been reduced to

bedroom, bathroom, 

kitchen, couch, and desk

and when we do brave beyond our gate

we do so with great caution

masking nervous stares.


Our constructs of time 

are being


days have lost their borders 

forced to stand on their own carrying 

names of lost distinction and useless numbers 

when none but the first and last 

can help the calendar 

retain any purpose

and a clock 

serves only to announce 

the afternoon nap

so we task ourselves each morning

with goals to earn the day

that we may continue the

one unalterable tradition

of celebrating our daily successes and 

numbing ourselves of our failures at 5:00p.m.


Our closets 

have never been 

so tidy

as the clothes that still fit 

have been narrowed down 

to a select half-dozen items

each one christened 

with samples of 

‘project paint’

and masks in all colors and styles

for our rare personal appearances

are the only new additions

as our old wardrobe

dies quietly, day by day

item by item.


The computer as our only social tether

and bearer of all news, good and bad, real and fake,

is now unbreakable

we have become experts in 

home video conference 

lighting technique, and

“What have you been doing?”

has been replaced with

“What have you been watching?”



All of this feels 

like a strange way 


and going back to what was

seems impossible 

from here

as we recalibrate our lives

with the lesson of valuing time 

in proper measure 

and practice our gratitude 

for all we have been given

while surrounded by so much loss.

Ken Owen    October 2020

Van Niddy Press