708 Readings

Social Distancing

I’ll quell the impulse to pick
Those bright purple flowers
If you quell the impulse too
In this way we both experience
Impulsiveness beautifully
The perfect pair of us
Standing at some point
In the identical space
Through which we stare
At a collective definition
Of beauty constituted
By a couple of flowers
A city planner selected
Last season from online
It’s touching really
Just how we’re no longer
Supposed to touch
Posted 03/13/20
I wrote this poem ten minutes ago, in just about the same amount of time. I remember telling my daughter a few years ago that she couldn't pick some pretty flowers we'd passed at the side of the road. She must have been a toddler at the time, and as they do, demanded an explanation. Why couldn't she have this vibrant beauty for herself. Why shouldn't she collect and keep it, since she'd found it in the first place. There's something powerful in being able to recognize beauty and one deserves a reward for it, right? Can't that reward be to own it forever. Or at least until it wilts. But ownership severs its communal potential. If I claim these lands in the name of the king then no one else can by rights live here. It's hard to explain sovereignty to someone so young. . . actually, maybe it's not, maybe they innately get how power manifests itself in the world. But try telling them not to kill the very thing that gives them pleasure in order to save that pleasure for others and how it also means taking less pleasure for one's self. Wait, is that Socialism? I think that's what's happening right now. In order to have you have to give. Capitalism can only fail us in times like these. I didn't mean to write a poem about social responsibility, but I guess I just did. I'm not going to overthink it. I told my daughter years ago that she had to leave that flower there for others to enjoy. I know she understands that now.
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