by Norma Smith
My animal sleeps, eyes open, on her gray sheepskin pad beside my desk. She’s curled up, snoring gently. Both of her two-leggeds have stayed home with her day and night since mid-March, when the human pandemic was fully unleashed. At first, we people struggled with our abrupt nearly complete isolation. On the other hand, having unexpected company reversed the elderly beast’s usual seclusion. This confused her in the early days.
It didn’t take her long to warm to our constant presence and, in fact, to demand nearly incessant active attention. We understand our duty to reassure her. She understands her duty to be caressed. Treats all around.
Shortly before dawn, her silver-lined muzzle, with its cold, moist nose will come to rest in the crook of my elbow, alarming me out of my own sleep: Time to pet the dog. Let the day’s work begin.
by Norma Smith
The light on the neighbor’s porch rivals a rising moon. The last Blue moon of the year. On the neighbor’s porch children gather, distanced, for sweets, Blue moon of the year may wish the goblin well. Children gather, distanced, for sweets day in and day out, may wish the goblin well, hoping it will not follow them Day in and day out, they beg the glowering beast above hoping it will not follow them down that dim-lit street.
Sent to us: Dec. 5, 2020
Editor’s Note: Dearest readers, as you can see we’re accepting submissions again. Feel free to send your pandemic writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to read it and publish your work.