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Life in the Time of Corona

Jade Sea

Patricia Edmisten

Patricia Edmisten is retired from the University of West Florida where she directed the office of International Education and Programs. Her two years in Peru as a Peace Corps volunteer influenced the direction of her life. She is a social justice activist and the author of eight books.

This morning the sea is light jade, the color of Chinese celadon,

a transparent glaze used during the 13th century Song Dynasty.

For one hour I thrash through my miseries, multiplied by Corona.

Will we travel to see family this Thanksgiving?

We’ll have to use public bathrooms. Those toilets don’t have covers.

The spray from flushing can be inhaled.

Where will we stop for the night? Will it be clean? I must bring wipes

Will we inspire the micron aerosols from strangers?

The droplets should be pink, the way they appear under a microscope.

Then we could just walk around them.

Can I hug my grandchildren? It will have been a year since I’ve seen them.

But they will have just returned from school. They’re not living like hermits.

What if one of us gets the virus? Could we survive intubation and

ventilators? Is our will up-to-date?

Terns dip low to the water. Miles from shore, boats resemble bath-tub

toys. A fisherman reels in a long silvery fish for dinner.

A dolphin arcs upward out of the calm sea. I have been wasting

this gift of time, this glory of God, while writing my own Lamentations.

Two Blue Angels pierce the cumulus clouds above.

I enter the water’s womb. It is enough.

Pensacola Beach, June 19, 2020

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