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