Art in Quarantine

Christine
Graf

For Now

The Christmas cactus cascades in a waterfall of blooms,
a surprise of pink in my living room,
like brush tips sweeping dust from the sill.
It knows nothing of pandemics or climate change,
it knows nothing of empty shelves in stores,
it knows nothing of remorse for bad investments.

Let the the cactus waltz to the quiet rhythms of photosynthesis,
let light, water and life thrive in dark soil,
it doesn’t worry about the stock market,
or how to save 5 bucks on Nescafe’s House Blend coffee
or search online for the holy grail of toilet paper.

At the end of my block the East River shares light
with the cactus and tarantellas with currents and waves
and  looks nothing like the waves on the charts
of the Coronavirus issued by the CDC.
The river doesn’t have a survival plan
even if its sorrows are greater than the cactus.

Let the crimped clouds roam as vagabonds,
low slung, hung from a blue that Georgia O’Keefe could’ve painted.
The sky knows nothing of ventilators, hospital beds or
press conferences about the way light does its job.
In Carl Schurz park the sun covers me in a veil of vitamin D,
let its warmth be constant as the chyron
that ribbons across TV screens breaking the news.

On the other side of the river is Queens where trees are petrified
in brown lace. April isn’t here yet and is no longer the cruelest month.
Uncertainty is an old lover who stalks me. He’s got my number,
knows where I live.

I can count on this; the pink blooms, crimped clouds, a rambling river.
For now, that is enough.

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