By Shizue Seigel
In my neighborhood of stubborn weeds
I hope that COVID came just in time to save us
from total eradication, preserving the last of the grit
from million-dollar scrubs of virgin
olive oil, oatmeal and sage by the pampered few who
can afford to bathe their skins with what lesser folk can eat.
Will the virus slow them down
like the bursting of dot.com 1
or the ’89 earthquake?
Coastal fog used to be sufficient
to keep away those who did not love this land
the fragile interface with sea and
sky sometimes unseen all summer long.
fog tendrils, microdroplets
bursting against our cheeks, reminding us
like warning blasts and mourning bleats
signaling ships at sea and landlubbers alike
that we are all adrift on life—reality rising and falling
heaving and lulling, by turns.
There are no guarantees,
only the invitation to risk.
We are a hardy people
buckwheat and sorrel
dandelions and succulents.
Look down your nose at us,
indulge yourself elsewhere
with showy blooms and gourmet grazings.
We are a plain people whose meager dollars
sent a generation to college so
they could look down at us, too.
Now they are learning something priceless:
there are no guarantees except
death comes to all of us.
Life comes from how you
May 23, 2020
* Originally published as a SFPL Poem of the Day