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     The Literary Review
                                                                          Issue 8

Page 74

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Ghazals in the time of the Pandemic

End of the Semester

Teaching how to write
on screen with Zoom

words get warped of meaning
on screen with Zoom

students hide their faces
on screen with Zoom

stories still unfolding
on screen with Zoom

much mental unloading
on screen with Zoom;

today the class is over
on screen with Zoom

I stare at empty boxes
of faceless Zoom

and long for all the laughter
that screams with Zoom.

  Pam Laskin__

Cradle in my Arms

Six months ago I saw my kids
and cradled them in arms,

the world had wings with which to fly
and cradle in my arms,

now the beaches close their doors
can’t cradle in my arms

the parks are mourning swingless swings
to cradle in one’s arms

today I dream of better days
to cradle in my arms

to see my babies close enough
to cradle in my arms.

  Pam Laskin__

The World Shut Down Its Hugs

Three months ago corona struck
the world shut down its hugs

the edict is six feet apart
the world shut down its hugs

everyone must wear a mask
the world shut down its hugs

even if you’re lonely
the world shut down its hugs

I gaze longingly at grandkids
I’m not allowed to hug

its social isolation
a world without its hugs

and mental hibernation
the world shut down its hugs.

  Pam Laskin__


Facetime With Ella

Every day at 5 o’clock
there is a ring from Ella

Ella fills the screen with awe
her daily call from facetime

sometimes she interrupts my plans
I miss her call from facetime

without the hugs, without her breath
but still I have the facetime

I ask to see her brother Jake
She wants to hog the facetime

Look forward to the time when there
Is no call from facetime

When I embrace their face in flesh
And say goodbye to facetime.

  Pam Laskin__

A Mother’s Lament
In memory of George Floyd

Each time he walks the street
he could be killed

Aubrey sought to run
and he was killed

George Floyd cashed a check
he soon was killed

he cried out to his Mama
then was killed

the color of his face
he could be killed

even if he’s ten
he could be killed

Trayvon wore a hoodie
and he was killed

how does Mama sleep
when he is killed.

  Pam Laskin__

With No Vaccine

Years before we hug
with no vaccine

I gaze at empty hands
with no vaccine

my smile disappears
with no vaccine

the mask fills up my face
with no vaccine

the absence of your touch
with no vaccine

it almost feels too much
with no vaccine.

  Pam Laskin__