Another World a pandemic poem This morning I woke in the former world, the world before the virus, or so I believed. The sun had the same kiss of brass to it as it does in this post Covid 19 morning. The scent of spring was similarly buoyant on the morning breeze, daffodils and the early hyacinths. The same black-mohawked Steller’s Jay perched on the edge of the roof, staring down at the morning coastline below our hillside, sea dark and serene, swells horizonward with white crests like bobbing gulls. They may have been actual seagulls, this morning, or in that former world. A calm, lulled, sort of ordinary morning that brims with coffee aroma and the slow thoughts that come into focus with each sip—the necessary to do list—work, pets, chores. A morning that but for the virus could be any other. I can take my cat into my arms, but not hug my neighbor, just home from his cataract surgery at the hospital. I cannot take the dogs for a morning stroll in the shuttered park, nor meet a friend out for lunch, nor run an errand just to pick up an item or two. Every decision in this world’s morning is about staying far from death’s embrace. About keeping each other safe. About love filtered through masks and screens and the morning light of pandemic.