April 2, 2020

Bob Hicok

FLY

We are alone.
At seven o’clock around the world, people are clapping
at open windows and on balconies for everyone trying
to help us stay alive, doctors and nurses and pizza delivery guys.
We are alone but not alone. At the same time, a man plays clarinet
across my valley to neighbors and cows. We are alone but not alone
in being alone. Friends drinking virtually get actually drunk
and sing all the show tunes they know. We are alone but not alone.
A call arrives: a woman I loved and lived with has died. I am alone.
She joins a growing number on TV each night. When I was a kid,
Cronkite tolled the dead on CBS every evening. Then a war, now a virus;
then far, now at our doors. I am alone but not alone. I open every window,
take my drink, my desire for wings, my scream outside.
It’s warm, sunny, there’s a jump in the grass and the trees: spring.
I am alone but not alone in looking more tenderly at daffodils
than I have in years. Go you yellow dreamers, go: rise. We are alone
but not alone in feeling lucky as others die that we have been left alone.
At seven o’clock around the world, people are clapping
at open windows and on balconies for God and the air to hear
that we’re still alive.

from Poets Respond
April 2, 2020

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Bob Hicok: “Thank god for Zoom and Dr. Fauci. I wish you all well.” (web)

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