Read Poem: Love in the Time of Corona, by Jared Michael Ellis

I am scared.
I wasn’t
I was wrong.

I went to sleep fast like a child.
in my mothers ability
to protect me.

I went to sleep in my bed
and woke up in a place I did not recognize.
Cradled in my mother’s arms.
Nothing is familiar.
Overnight my world
My playground
became a place I did not recognize.
Overnight my home,
My oasis,
Became my solitary confinement.

I trust my mother.
If she can make the flowers bloom May
then I trust I will bloom too.

I close my eyes so I can see better.
See what my natural eyes cannot.
I need to see a future.
One that is normal.
Maybe this is our new normal?
For now, I’ll settle for
one with hope
One with music in the south loop
One with social distancing karaoke.
And long distance relationships that span a block and a half.

One full of love.

I cannot predict the future but
I do know one thing:
I will not stop loving.
I will not give up on Love
I will not give up on Joy. I will give her away freely
My Joy
I will give her away to all who ask
and those who don’t.

I guess that’s not fair to say…

That she can be given away.
She is not a possession
She is a state of mind.
She cannot be bought or bartered for.
She can merely be found and shared.
Humility is all she asks in return.
She looks fondly on me
as I have had the blessing of knowing her for years.
Even when we lose touch
we find our way back to each other
and continue to do so every day.
I always know exactly where to find her.

She hides in the cracks of my music –
In the bud of a tulip the dares to bloom
despite the frost –
Echoing in the laughter of my grandfather
long after his passing.
You can find her in the little things:
The unexpected places.

She stands as tall and proud as a lighthouse
guiding damaged ships to calmer waters.
I am the vessel of her affection.
Now, like one of her ships
I don’t know where I am.
I’m still disoriented

and scared.
But I trust my mother.
She is Joy –
and Love…
and she is still cradling me in her arms
as we forge unfamiliar territory.
I trust she knows what she is doing.

I have more victories behind me
than trials ahead.
I lost my job, but I have not lost my Joy.
They took my happiness, but they cannot take my Joy.
My Joy –

New world:
Same Joy.
New world:
Same Love.
New world: