Small Change

When finally something big happened

we were unready

we were a little surprised

then a touch horrified

when we realised.

 

It wasn’t happening on someone else’s doorstep

the entire planet was affected

and we took it personally now, we cared

now there was nowhere to run and hide

no vaccine, nobody immunity

no safety guaranteed.

 

The virus spread like a wildfire

around the globe

it tossed our neat jigsaw puzzle lives

into the air

and we had pieces of ourselves

mixed up

jumbled up and scattered about

and there was nothing we could do

and we had no idea

when or if

they’ve ever fit us right again.

 

So we gathered ourselves up

shelved our lives

closed our doors

and stayed inside for some time

and we waited

and waited and waited some more

with hope in our hearts

uncertainty for the future on our minds

at risk of catching the virus, losing our lives

of losing everything

we ever worked for

or all of the above.

 

We felt a terrible pain for the potential disaster

the virus had made of so many lives

including our own.

 

We were fooling ourselves that

this sort of stuff doesn’t happen here

we carried on day to day like we were untouchable

so fucking lucky

to have a sense of what happens next

every day bleeding into the next seamlessly

the usual aches, the typical pains

the general complaints but overall, okay

and then it happened; to us all

 

—the fucking lucky ones

 

We’d never even noticed what we had

till we didn’t have a clue what we could keep

if anything.

 

I guess the homeless and the hungry

the mad, sad and destitute

they’re looking at us thinking

how lucky we are

to have something to miss, something to lose

or even something to hope for

 

or maybe not, since they too came from somewhere

at some point, for some reason

while we walked by day after day

 

sometimes tossing them a coin

sometimes shooting them a glance

sometimes making a conscious effort to avoid them

feeling awkward, embarrassed, ashamed

sometimes failing to notice they were there at all.

 

Well that’s a privilege we took for granted

the privilege of choice

 

and what did we do when suddenly

stripped of all options?

 

We sat, and we waited for change.

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