Spring arrives, then summer

during the season of no. No proms

or graduation parties, no Mother’s Day

or Father’s Day dinners. No browsing

new books or sales racks, no art or art

supplies, or seeing what produce is fresh,

in season. No popping in or coffee dates

to catch up on news. Weddings postponed,

couples live together in quarantine,

voice irritations and endearments. Season

of baking bread and cookies, season of no

limit to how much you can sleep.

Limits on how much butter, meat,

and toilet paper you can buy.

Insomnia and no limit to what

you can worry about. No justice

for people of color, for the poor

murdered by police, recorded on three

cameras. No bottom for a so-

called president’s rhetoric inciting

hate crimes. No shortage of tear gas.

No halt to the worldwide spread of a novel

virus whose only job is to replicate.

Not enough testing. No proper

funerals or memorial services. No

saying goodbye or holding hands.

No travel or summer camp. No

treatment, no vaccine. Prevention

measures ignored and mocked

by those who want haircuts,

manicures, massages. Maybe

the planet is telling us, No. Humans

are no longer welcome here.


Joan Mazza worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, and taught workshops on dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self, and her work has appeared in Italian Americana, Poet Lore, The MacGuffin, Prairie Schooner, and The Nation. She is self-isolating at her home in rural central Virginia. www.JoanMazza.com