Wear A Mask

A message from a woman with compromised lungs on the importance of wearing a mask. 

As a woman with compromised lungs and other health issues, I cannot even begin to express to you how important it is to wear a mask. I rarely leave the house these days, but when I do, I always wear a mask. I normally don’t post things like this but I need to say something. This isn’t a political matter, this is a public health matter. We’re still in a pandemic and masks help control the spread of this virus. When you cover your nose and mouth, you’re doing your part to keep those who you come in close contact with from getting sick. It’s only common courtesy to be respectful to those you know and to those you do not know. The more we can do our part as human beings by wearing a mask and washing our hands, the less of a chance there is to have another lockdown. Yes, it can be inconvenient or uncomfortable to wear something over your nose and mouth, but it’s better than getting sick or getting those you come near sick. Be smart. Be safe. Wear a mask.

Allergic to the Heat

Remember when I raved about going on walks every day?
I laugh when I read those poems back now.
Walking in spring is a delight,
the weather is still slightly cool at all hours of the day.
Walking in summer is hell,
the heat feels like walking in an oven.
There's a small window in the evening
where there's potential for a cool down,
which rarely comes in the middle of July.
I'm a night owl, not an early bird.
Rising before most people are awake
to walk sounds less than appealing to me.
Instead, I've come to appreciate the shade.
I love summer outside in the shade.
I could sit outside in the shade for hours
and be perfectly content.
Any opportunity I get to sit outside
and appreciate nature now, I take it. 

Hello

This is your weekly reminder to wear a mask.
It's the least you can do when venturing outside your house.
You are protecting those around you when you do so.
It's become common courtesy to wear one.
Wash your hands, cover your mouth
When cough or sneeze, and please
Stay at least six feet apart when around other people.
This virus has not gone away and will not go away for a while.
If you have anyone in your life who needs a reminder,
Feel free to send this blog post to them.
It's more important than ever before
To keep your germs to yourself.
Be safe out there. 

PS – I promise not all of my blog posts will be like this. I just had to say something because cases are rising as people are continuing to disobey the rules. Throwing fits in Target isn’t the answer. For those of you who are wearing a mask and staying socially distanced, thank you for doing your part.

Take care!

Howls Quietly in the Distance

Summer rolls in, we're still dealing with the problems
we've been facing for most of the year.
A virus appearing uncontrollable
can be lessened if people wear a mask.
You may not want to wear something
over your mouth and nose.
No one's doing it for their own enjoyment.
It's not like this is normal life and face
masks have become the new fall trend.
Everyone's wearing one! It's fashion!!
If you're not wearing one, you're not cool.
No, if you're not wearing a mask
you could be spreading this virus
you do not know your carrying
to those who are more vulnerable, like me.
It's basic human distancy to wear
something over your nose and mouth.
It's called being respectful
to those around you.
I said a few months ago, don't be stupid.
You want to go out, wear a mask.
Stay socially distanced in public.
Meet outside instead of indoors.
It shouldn't be hard to comprehend.
I still hear howling quietly in the distance
in the evening, howling for our healthcare
workers who are still dealing with this virus.
New season, same problems. 
Stay safe.



Coldplay at Dusk

No Filter
I watch the sky turn from light yellow
to cotton-candy pink within a matter of minutes
The evening air is neither hot nor cold
I'm comfortable in a sweater
It slides down my left shoulder
I don't bother to fix it
I listen to Coldplay's Yellow, Orphans, & Fix You
I watch the light fade
In the field behind my house
Cotton-candy clouds above the trees darken
One song changes to another

By The Lake

I'm surrounded by people for the first time in months.

This feels normal and strange all at once.

I don't think about the virus for long.

Later I will reflect on why.

Social distancing is in place to protect us.

We follow the unspoken rules as best we can.

I float on the water and watch the crowd from afar.

This feels like a dream.

The last few months feel like a dream.

What's real now?

The worry or the comfort of people?

Listening

Dear Readers,

I’ve been doing a lot of listening lately. Listening to those who are demanding change at protests and providing links online. I’ve been reading books, articles, and essays from black writers about what’s happening right now. I’m learning more about our history as a nation than I was taught in high school.

I had a plan before all of this happened to write poems about Pride Month like I did last June. That plan has changed. I love poetry but right now, I’m just trying to listen as much as I can and share the voices of those who need to be heard at this moment in America. Those who can articulate this moment much better than I can.

I want to share some of those voices with you. I urge you to take some time to read and listen to what they have to say.

Stay safe. Drink water. Wear your mask.

Kelly

How To Help

America, This Is Your Chance – The New York Times
On the Minds of Black Lives Matter Protesters: A Racist Health System – ProPublica
How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change – Medium
I’m black and despite all I’ve accomplished, society views me as a threat – The Denver Post
Becoming a Parent in the Age of Black Lives Matter – The Atlantic
Heather McGhee – Armchair Expert
Whose Grief? Our Grief – GQ
A ‘Glorious Poetic Rage’ – The New York Times
Not Just Another Protest – NPR
My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege. I Decided to Be Honest – Yes Magazine
For Every Person Tired Of Police Brutality – BuzzfeedVideo
The American Nightmare – The Atlantic
Dear White People, This is What We Want You to Do – Inside The Kandi Dish
Letter from a Region in My Mind – The New Yorker
BlackOutTuesday: The do’s and don’ts of anti-racism – Wait, There’s More
7 Ways You Can Help Black People Combat Racism – Medium
Performative Allyship Is Deadly (Here’s What to Do Instead) – Medium
I’ve Spent Months Fighting Coronavirus in the ER. Police Violence Is What Really Scares Me – GQ
So Much To Do – VlogBrothers

Looking Away

You know what makes me happy?
Choosing not to drown myself in current events.

At the beginning of all this, I was obsessed with
Knowing all the latest information.
I also had more physical anxiety than
I had experienced in several years.

My mental health is better when I look away.
Nowadays, I see and know very little news.
It's all the same anyway, repeating concerns and worries
About something we cannot control.

The occasional headline that breaks 
From the pattern won't last long. 

I see things scrolling through Twitter.
I acknowledge it, maybe look, then let it go.

Another Lap Around the Sun

For my mom.

Congratulations on another lap around the sun.
This isn't the ideal time to have a birthday,
But here we are, so let's make the best of it.

Your age is just a number,
Another number you gain for being alive.

Everyone who knows you is lucky,
For they know your kind heart,
Your lively spirit and your beautiful soul.

While there are no birthday candles to blow out,
You appreciate the little things, the people around you.

You look around and see your family,
Your daughters who are mirrors of your younger self.
Your husband who says, "you know me" too often.

You wave at your friends through screens
And stay distanced when you meet.

I know you'll find a way to make this lap the best one yet.