Social Distancing Becomes Me

by Kerry Loughman

Remotely I discard the sentiment 
of hearts beating as one
when no two hearts can beat 
             equally without cost.

 I am the least trod path 
and mask my fears
with the polished nicety
of a forced smile.

 I hoard my words & 
live my life
            in and to 
                        the minimum:

 carry little  
drink less 
let the least amount 
                        of calories
cross my chapped lips.

 Avoid all body lotion & salves 
as plenary indulgent
            and false prophecy.                

Face alone the reality 
of deep wrinkles & bone 
in the bathroom mirror.

I barter my breath daily
for a snatch of song
             from the sparrow.

Previously published in What Rough Beast (August 6, 2020)

* Writing Prompt: Write a poem that incorporates a catch phrase for the time (social distancing, work from home ) with a part of you. Include habits and past histories. Twist and exaggerate so the truth becomes farcical. Have the presentation of the poem on the page mirror your personality.


Kerry Loughman

Kerry Loughman is a retired educator and photographer who lives in the Boston area and is a member of the PoemWorks community. Her work has appeared in The Muddy River Poetry Review, Mass Poetry’s Poem of the Moment, Nixes’ Mate, What Rough Beast and Pendemics Journal.