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   Page 62

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The Fifth

I find solace next to a radio
playing a song
I know by heart.

My horoscope spoke truths
fear of an unknown future
loss of home, humanity.

Radio songs
sing me my troubles
caress me with melody.

It’s cold and rainy
the businessman announced,
“It’s the fifth week in solitude.

People will begin to crack.
Let’s incorporate a virtual happy hour.
Join in with the drink of your choice.”

  Linda Kleinbub__


The Artist’s Birthday

Division Street, Chinatown
Picnic umbrellas provide shade
for a circle of friends
clinking glasses for the birthday girl.
Outdoor diners, wearing masks,
shifting folding chairs to avoid the sun.
A thunderstorm rolls in
blasting wind driving rain sideways
claps of thunder, bright lightning
scuttling party guests venture
into the bar turned general store.
The barkeep ushered the group
to the stay-dry backroom
against all social distancing rules.
They gather together
sing birthday songs
eat caramel cake
while keeping a few feet apart.
Wearing a mask except for sipping and eating.
The drinks flowed
alcohol was sure to kill germs.
Friends gathering
for the first time in four months
trying to act normal
celebrating a birthday
in quarantine.

  Linda Kleinbub__

Dance Green Breathe
(I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.
Dr. Seuss)

I’m still learning.
I seek wisdom from trees.
I climb to the top shady corner
of the little league bleachers.
I am leaf level.
Hideaway in the park
breeze reminds me of other things.
Facetime friend's plans
begin to emerge.
Good to see you in person again,
even on a tiny screen.
We’re still in quarantine
loneliness grows in dried grass
on empty playfields.

Making plans to travel during quarantine
requires a good cancellation policy
should the virus spike.
Research what attractions are still closed.
There’s always the waterfront
open-air distractions of a park
trying to break the hum-drum dailies.

I climb to the top of the little league bleachers
to be oak leaf level.
Silent in their story whispering
secrets of longevity:
stay planted, rooted in your space
don’t try to stop the wind.
Let your body sway
dance green breathe.

Linda Kleinbub __


What day is it?

It’s July two? I thought it was three.
Who's keeping track anymore?
July 4th is on a Saturday
perfect day for this holiday
get out in the sun
celebrate America
bar-be-que with friends
but we’re still living in quarantine.
It’s July two? I thought it was three.
Who's keeping track anymore?
Quarantine’s a lonely scene.
Eating California Rolls alone
I think of what you’re going through.
I stop, and I begin to cry
my body shakes
curls into my skeleton
salty tears flow into my mouth
I lose my appetite.
July Fourth no red, white just blue.
Quarantine how much longer
must I live with you?

Linda Kleinbub __


A virus attacks the lungs
Breath of life is stolen
Congestion, pneumonia, in two weeks
Everyone can be a carrier so
Follow the rules
Guidelines for survival
Handwashing often
Just stay home
Keep a positive attitude
Loneliness can be painful
Make use of your telephone
No one is immune
Our cooperation is needed
Quit procrastinating, get a job done
Spring is a new beginning
Tulips push through dirt
Unearthing chlorophyll
Value the gifts of
Water and earth
X-amine the entire picture
Yellow sun will rise tomorrow
Zebras are still Black and White

  Linda Kleinbub__


Black Eyed Sparrow

Black-eyed sparrow sits
in the newly, pruned bush
wondering where his habitat
has gone.
Sunlight now hits branches
that were once his hide-out perch.
Branches cut from trunk
his perch a limited view.
Cumulous, cotton candy white clouds
hang low to the horizon.
Within my grasp?

City yard is quiet now
birds chirping calling out
for what, I do not know.
Thunder of past tropical storm
in the distance
a muffled baritone looking for attention.
Air conditioners hum
in the still humid heat.
I am the watcher.
Show me how you grow.
Garden cucumbers hang
long on the trellis.
This small green space of mine.

  Linda Kleinbub__