It’s been a year since I’ve worked in an office building.
Since I’ve watched my daughter play sports without she or I wearing a mask.
Since I’ve been inside a bookstore or library.
Since I’ve hugged my brother.
Since I’ve eaten in a restaurant.
Since I’ve stayed in a hotel.
Been to the airport.
Been in a bar.
Been in a mall.
Been to a funeral.
It’s been a year without parties I didn’t want to attend.
Without gatherings I didn’t want to host.
Without organizing carpools.
Without a school band concert, play, or art festival.
It’s been a year of talking in tiny computer windows.
Talking to myself, constantly present in my own tiny window.
Talking to family on badly oriented devices.
Talking to no one, because I’m on mute.
To my cats, standing on my laptop.
To friends via text, anxiously watching for the …
To coworkers’ upper bodies.
It’s been a year since I was embarrassed by my messy house.
Since I worried about what I was wearing.
Since other’s opinions mattered more than my own.
Since I learned how to say “no”.
It’s been a year of being afraid my parents will die.
Being afraid I will die.
Being afraid my husband or daughter will die.
Afraid that I will get my loved ones sick.
Afraid that I will get my friends sick.
Afraid of how angry my friends would be if I got them or their loved ones sick.
Afraid of killing someone.
It’s been a year of change.
It’s been a year of learning.
A year of disappointment.
A year of endless family.
A year lacking friendship.
A year with no physical contact.
Of unacknowledged losses large and small.
Of eyes opening, hearts breaking, and injustice.
It’s been a year of distance
It’s been a year.