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Dedicated to the front-line workers in our neighborhoods during the pandemic.


The world has turned topsy-turvy,
panic has eclipsed the sun.
Ghosts of fear wander streets
where children used to play.

Democracy has toppled like a deck of cards, 
lawmakers have lost their way
in a maze of what matters most — 
money or health, votes or lives  — 
while truth shatters in a million pieces
behind a mirror of lies. 

Our homes are our cells. No visiting hours,
no relatives, no friends. Our windows open
to still-life canvases of playgrounds with
empty swings, vacant sports fields, and cars
that haven’t budged as weeks roll into months.

Then out of the shadows come the nameless,
delivering mail, medicine, packages, food.
Steady, silent partners, once faded in the scenery
of our everyday lives, now on the front lines, easing
our way, while the government brakes at every turn. 


Shelly Blankman lives in Columbia, Maryland with her husband of 39 years and they fill their empty nest with three cats and a dog. They have two sons, Richard and Joshua, who live in New York and Texas, respectively. Shelly followed careers in public relations and journalism and now has returned to her first love, writing poetry. She also enjoys making memory books and cards. Her sons recently surprised her with a book of her poetry, entitled Pumpkinhead.

© 2020, Shelly Blankman

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