I hope this email finds you well!

Attempting to dodge it & any others
the email finds you anyway trying
to stifle your sobs with a quilt as your spouse
loads the kids into the car for hockey practice
& you don’t know if it was the note
from an aunt that your cousin’s baby
was stillborn or reports that novel strains
of the virus may mean the new normal
will be the normal for always or whether
any misfortune triggers a crying jag
so profound & ugly you sense it’s because
you haven’t processed losses large & small
& they’ve built up the way laundry does
if you’re not washing it on the daily but
what you do know is that the car is running
& the kids will be late again which means
dirty looks from the coach just for you
& thank god you’ve given up on make-up
or even caring if the shirt you’re wearing
is the same one from the past five days
so you snot into a tissue & grab a mask
from the drawer now commissioned
for masks & use your uncombed hair
to hide swollen eyes from your spouse
who drums a staccato of impatience
against the steering wheel.

Sonia Greenfield is the author of two full-length collections of poetry. Letdown, released in March, was selected for the 2020 Marie Alexander Series and published by White Pine Press. Her collection, Boy With a Halo at the Farmer’s Market, won the 2014 Codhill Poetry Prize and was published in 2015. Her chapbook, American Parable, won the 2017 Autumn House Press chapbook prize. Her work has appeared in a variety of places, including in the 2018 and 2010 Best American Poetry, Antioch Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, and Willow Springs. She lives with her husband, son, and two rescue dogs in Minneapolis where she teaches at Normandale College and edits the Rise Up Review. More at soniagreenfield.com.

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