- NYS Writers Institute
Poetry Friday: "... when the sun is sheltered with clouds"
For today's Poetry Friday post, we're sharing a recent poem by Amy Nedeau titled "Structure."
While its theme is related to the COVID-19 pandemic and our collective sense of isolation, it seems appropriate on this gray and rainy Friday here in Albany.
Amy was a participant in the 2019 NYS Writers Institute Community Writers Workshop. She submitted her poem to a call for submissions for the upcoming edition of our Trolley journal, which will be focused on writings related to the COVID-19 pandemic, quarantine, isolation, and coping with it all.
Amy is a University at Albany graduate with degrees in English and anthropology. She grew up in Buffalo and currently resides in Waterford.
Here is her poem titled "Structure"
I’m woken at 3 am by a future that might have been.
My stomach doesn’t have
the same shut down button as my computer
and spins in loading circles all night,
all day too.
3 am/ 3 pm are one
when the sun is sheltered with clouds
and gray, vacant walls become security blankets
The only stability is speculation:
Will there be enough
Will we make it
Scarcity and unfamiliarity
breed anxiety twins
that run through my brain
like angry toddlers
keeping me from my yoga mat
and coloring all over my escapism books
making them illegible
This gift of time
is lost in scrolls of panic posts.
I haven’t cried
as though I don’t know which emotion
to map onto this
I breathe slow, try to center
my own arms
the only ones allowed to embrace me
Every rainfall, the ground water pushes up on the concrete floor of the basement
an uneven vein has formed and soaks as though perspiring under pressure.
Soon the walls will do the same, the repairman says
then the joists will shift, the foundation affected.
We can’t change the weather, he says
Only reroute its effects
It will always come
The dog walks dutifully
confused by three in one day,
but not upset.
Maybe this is all we have now
a postman’s vigilance
(neither snow nor rain nor virus)
to be outdoors.
I’m not the only one.
Our once empty routes are full
and we turn
to avoid sharing air.
Can she even tell these days apart?
We’re all losing that ability
the more we become like dogs
Thank you, Amy, for sharing your poem. We look forward to publishing "Structure" along with poems, essays, and short fiction from more than 70 writers when we publish Trolley next week.