Masks Off

Just over a year ago, we were thinking things would never be the same again. So much can change in a year. So many lives lost, so many lives brought into this world. Are we really back to normal? Can we live everyday like 3.5 million people haven’t lost their lives to this virus?

Today is the day we can go back to “normal” in Massachusetts. No more masks are necessary if you have been fully vaccinated (but who is out there checking vaccination cards?) I just hope we all still remember everything we have learned. Here is a list of things we should continue to do:

1. Wash our damn hands, because that’s a common thing we should do, right?

2. Stay home if we feel sick, even if we think it’s just a cold.

3. Be aware of other people’s boundaries. Before 6 feet social distancing was a thing, I swear someone behind me in line at the grocery store could count all the freckles on the back of my neck. Respect a stranger’s space.

4. Hugging is my favorite thing to do. Hug more friends and family, And hug often.

5. Get vaccinated. Or not. But you should.

6. Smile. It’s been hidden for so long, someone will appreciate your smile.

a Spring time note

Stepping outside, I can smell the air changing. Winter is a distant memory. I can see the daffodils and crocus peeking through the soil. They are just waiting to fully bloom, to fully reach their potential. They thrive in this subtle warm weather. There’s a reason why they reach towards the sun. Light it hope. Light is growth. We have only just begun. We have only just begun this transition to a new beginning. Things seem to be looking brighter in the near future for us all. Let’s hope and grow together.

2021

When you step out on the ice, your heart starts to race. you feel your knees begin to buckle and that first fall somehow gives you the confidence of something new. the ball begins to drop and you can feel that same something new give you goosebumps. hope counts down and reflection drives through your veins. the stars remind you that this year was a challenge for all. without warning signs from above. it was a beautiful war skating onto thin ice. and we didn’t fall in. we rose. we rose stronger than anything or anyone.

A Trio of Poetic Light

There was a girl who thought 
of a life she once had-
the darkest of moons,
a vertical coast drifting
along a scattered memory.
Where does she belong?
Does she stay or go?
The light that answered
her turned into a guessing game.
Playing on a whim to only
move three ahead and be
knocked back down to zero.
Starting from the beginning
is the only way to be on top.
We must become
warriors of the
sanctioned stars
that seek fire
of the unknown-
A light warning
enemies to free
the innocent.
We can only fight
with the knowledge
that is here
and relish the
time we have.
We will conquer
what cannot be
conquered and we
will love until
our souls run
through the
silent battlefield.
There’s a storm in her eyes
that no one can see but her-
Lightning that strikes
brighter each time
she blinks.

The Stray: Part I

When I woke up this morning I could sense that something was going to go horribly wrong. The earth felt off balance. I put two different sneakers on, forgot one of my client’s keys, and didn’t have time to get coffee. My schedule is so tight that I needed to get right to work. At least the company I have is adorably fluffy.

I opened the door and Darwin greeted me with her usual spins and insisted belly rubs. Her canine grin making me feel welcome. I grabbed her leash and placed it on her collar. Our walk around the Arlington neighborhood was consistently the same but also ever changing with the seasons. The smell of Spring and nearby coffee shops lingered in the air as we made our way down the street. I could see Darwin’s hackles rise as we turned a corner and I knew it was her usual feline nemesis. The cat always hid in the bushes, waiting to pounce and I was always a step ahead, crossing the street to avoid the fight. We were heading back to Darwin’s house when I noticed a flip phone in the grass next to the sidewalk. I’m not sure what made me pick up that phone, but it changed my life forever.

I glanced at the phone and could see that it was a young girl’s phone by her most recent contacts of “Mom” & “Bff.” I put the phone in my pocket and continued my walk with Darwin. When we got back, I left a note for her owners that she did her usual Number 1 & Number 2. I finished my dog walks for the day and decided to call the contact listed “Mom” from my phone.

“Hello?”answered a cautious motherly voice.

“Hi, I think I found your daughter’s phone,” I said.

“Who is this? Where did you find it?”(a bit more anxiety this time in her voice).

“I was walking a dog and found it near the Dunkin Donuts on Broadway,” I explained.

“Can you meet to give me it at the Walgreens parking lot on Comm Ave. in an hour? I will be in the red minivan” she muttered.

“Sure , no problem!” I said.

I was waiting in the parking lot for about 15 minutes when I saw the minivan pull in a few spots next to me. I went over and gave her her daughter’s phone and didn’t think twice about it.

Later that evening, I received a phone call from my client. She asked me if I had found a phone that afternoon. When I said yes, she told me that the teenager that owned the phone was missing and the police wanted to talk to me.

My heart sank so low I couldn’t breathe. I began to sob uncontrollably because I thought the worst. I thought she was picked up by some creep and taken away to be murdered. Maybe I watched too much CSI lately but that terrifying feeling haunted me. Where could she be? I wanted to go and look for her but I had no idea where to begin. I turned on the news and heard them referring to me as “a stranger” who found her phone.

It was around midnight when they found her at the Boston Public Library. Who runs away to a library? Something didn’t seem right and I had to find out…