Thursday, August 20, 2020

Poetry Friday - A Lament and A Hope

     Poetry Friday is hosted by Ramona Behnke here at Pleasures from the Page!  It's a "significant week" for her in all kinds of ways and she shares it with us! Be sure to read and enjoy her words and all the beautiful links! Thanks for hosting, Ramona!

      I visit a local coffee shop often and on a recent day I pondered the way visiting has changed. I used to browse their small shelf offerings of cups and water bottles just to see if one wanted me to take it home, although I really don't need another. Then I thought of the grocery, a few other shops I now go to, socially distancing with mask on. More thoughts, some sadness, and a wish led to this poem. I realized this is not our only change these past months, but the one that "touched" me this time.

A Yearning Takes Its Place

In these days,
yes, those of our pandemic,
It’s taken me some time
to follow the ‘no touching’ rule.
I want to pick up the cups
at the corner coffee shop
the ones with the cute sayings
like “Happiness is a Cup of Coffee
& A Good Book”
or inspirational: 
“Be strong
Be Brave
Be Fearless.
You are never alone.”
I want to feel the weight in my hands,
how the handle fits my fingers.

At the grocery,
I want to caress the can of pinto beans
to check the sodium content,
then grab the mac ‘n cheese box
for the number of servings.

Inside my indie bookshop,
I want to bring out that book
with the blue cover
on the memoir shelf,
open it to read some of the words.
I want to browse new poetry 
by a favored author.
No, I can’t and finally,
finally, I know it.

But also finally,
I am in a place where
I can be with my family,
and hug them roundly.
I'm grateful for that.
It will change again when
the grandchildren return to school.
I know others whose family,
far away, or safe in senior homes,
have even more need than I.
We will follow the rules
until finally, hopefully,
We all again can handle, poke, hold,
press, stroke, and touch
anything, anyone desires.

Linda Baie © All Rights

byronv2 Browsing the Street Market 023 via photopin (license)


  1. Dear Linda, thinking of you hugging those loved ones roundly... and this poem reminds me of all we take for granted... something so simple, to lift a mug or turn a page in a bookstore. Thanks for putting it in a poem. xo

    1. You're welcome, Irene. It is one more thing I hope that will soon be gone from our lives.

  2. Even though there is sadness, there is hope too. Such a kind and gentle poem...the way you love the cups and the books. Hugging roundly. I miss that too. I feel peaceful reading this as if there is a future. Thank you.

    1. Months from now I hope we'll laugh at this, a seeming little thing that is so missed. Thank you, Linda

  3. Oh, Linda - this heartfelt and perceptive poem made me tear up. Yes, to all of it - the longing to interact and experience and appreciate without the shroud of fear and heavy reality. Here's to leaving fingerprints again, hopefully in the not too distant future! XO

    1. Certainly I'm hoping, Robyn! I love your thought of 'leaving fingerprints'! Thank you!

  4. Linda, all these things you mention weigh heavy on my heart. Your poetic diversion has brought these wants into focus. If only...thoughts make me long for the days when normal was a touch, a hug, and a loving embrace. You captured the longing of many of us and the hope that they will come back when a vaccine is found.

    1. Thank you, Carol, I felt such a strong longing for it this time. And this morning I had a lovely chat with a stranger while out shopping, also something that doesn't happen often. Maybe we're learning how even with masks & staying apart?

    2. Maybe so...what a pleasant thought!

  5. We all need your thoughtful, sensitive poem Linda, that hits us in the heart and cries for intimate connections. My mother who I've seen only once in a parking lot of a park because it had just rained and it was too wet to walk around, and we still stay 6 feet apart. My daughter that yearns to stay overnight with her college friends. Let's all be good so we can fight this horrible virus and start touching each other again.

    1. My grandson is in his 2nd year of college, now back & starting. I know they are so sad without the usual interactions. I'm sorry for you & your mom, too, Michelle. We do need to BE GOOD so it can be over fast! I am hopeful still. Thank you!

  6. Sometimes it the little things that we miss. I, too, am grateful for family time. Thanks for sharing your lament in a poem. I think poetry is needed now more than ever.

    1. Me, too, Margaret! I am glad to see your pictures with the family on social media, happy that you can be close. Thanks!

  7. Hello Linda, "A Yearning Takes Its Place," captures my thoughts too. I miss hugging friends. I'm grateful to be in a bubble with daughter Sara and family. And I miss touching things in stores and visiting bookstores. I call my bookstore and they leave my purchases outside. It's not the same as being in the store, but it's what we do for now. Hoping for that vaccine with good times ahead. Looking forward to touching people and things again.

    1. Thanks, Ramona, & I am happy for you that you can still be with your family that's near. My Indie is open to customers but no touching, just pull out the book & purchase. I have hope that change again will happen, but as you see I don't like it now.

  8. Linda your poem expertly encapsulates the critical nature of touch and how it impacts our lives. Your poem is a lament for something currently denied us, but it is also a reminder of things important. The sacrifices we are making now, will help us to emerge more quickly from this pandemic and all it brings. Eventually we will be able to cry out loud- let the hugging begin!

    1. Thank you, Alan, yes, I'm certainly willing to do all I am able to do to help, but still miss that touching. I love your ending line, a celebration it will be!

  9. You've captured this yearning eloquently in this poem, Linda. I really, really look forward to "all again can handle, poke, hold, press, stroke, and touch anything, anyone desires." Hopefully sooner than later... :)

  10. I have the same yearning, Linda, to hug my sons and see my sister in California. I will someday, I know, but your poem expresses what I feel.

  11. That last stanza! Thank you for this, Linda!

  12. Thank you, Bridget, Janice, & Tara! Sending you & everyone at least a virtual HUG!

  13. So many of us never realized how important 'touch' was until we could no longer do it. Thoughtful words, Linda!

    1. Thanks, Matt. That's true of so many things we take as "ours" until they aren't.


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