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Surface Tension

Four children play in a circle on the street,
a wonder.  Their parents
hover nearby in lawn chairs in case of
traffic.  Airplanes pass unceremonious

Unmet neighbors walk dogs, elderly couples
stroll this new village-despite-time, outside
the clock, which has stopped, or
paused, like molecular skin on still water.

The moment has grown flexible,
infinite. It has stretched itself out for
weeks and yawns, deciding whether months
might do the trick.

Someone is drawing lines, red, black,
green, and arcing them over dates:
March, April.  We compare charts, look for
evidence.  The line descended there, it will
fall here—eventually.

But for now we clean flat surfaces, cook for
ourselves, study the news—or not.
We relish moments together, but tend
not to plan.  To plan is dangerous, proud.

Time is a vacuum, and cocooned among
devices and books, we weigh
whom to contact and why; wait for the analog
clock to snap its sharp finger forward and
signify the future.

Melody Leming-Wilson is sheltering in place in Beaverton, Oregon.
Her recent work appears in Cathexis, Windfall, and Poeming Pigeon.
She teaches poetry (currently via Zoom) at Portland Community

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Previously published in
Eleventh Transmission:
"Home/School" by Maria DePaul.

Published June 21, 2020

45 Poems of Protest: The Pandemic

Surface Tension

by Melody Leming-Wilson
(Beaverton, Oregon, USA)
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Eleventh Transmission - "Surface Tension" by Melody Leming-Wilson
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