Monday, May 22, 2023

Pandemic Hoodie

As the world changed 
like a tidal wave 
of unseen particulates 
whose weight threatened 
to topple everything. 

I retreated to 
the corner of my house 
with the laptop 
and worked from home 
unsure of our 
collective tomorrow. 

That winter 
I remember 
it always seemed 
cold and gray 
and I would reach 
for the oversized, 
worn and faded 
navy blue zippered hoodie 
that I rarely wore. 

It was less a hoodie 
than it was a blanket 
of normalcy, 
a reminder of better days. 

I wrapped myself in it 
and cried, 
hid and 
generally kept working, 
often pulling the hood down 
over my eyes, 
as would a monk 
serving penance 
for a crime 
he didn’t commit. 

The hoodie became 
a second skin, 
dependable, protective 
and perpetually wrinkled 
(like my own skin), 
and I spent months 
soaking up all that 
loose, sloppy security. 

time didn’t stop, 
vaccines arrived, 
virus transmission slowed 
and I began breathing easier. 

The world began 
resembling something 
and I realized that my hoodie, 
worn out from use, 
full of holes yet holy, 
my 100% cotton talisman, 
was no longer necessary. 

Just as simply 
as it was announced, 
the national emergency ended: 

I made it 
through the pandemic 
without getting infected, 
where so many others 
had not. 

I quietly thanked God 
for my health, 
for the vaccine, 
for my enormous good fortune 
but mostly 

for the pandemic hoodie.