Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


Silence Braiding

in Coronavirus by

from the deep well of earth
your name spoken
a stillness beginning to awaken
so close you can almost caress it
if you place a hand over the heart
and breathe

if you breathe into your hands
from the deep well of your belly
you can feel the whole of you stir
opening the edges of creation
the crystalline splendor of another day
another you
that cuts a truth when fear advances
arresting you in your tracks
like the call of geese or rain
or ocean or a child giggling

you notice where to place your hands
where not to place your hands
where to tilt your ear
how to be silent without being silent
when to speak from across the proximate divide
gathering where you can
without placing your hands together
but in silence braiding yourself to another
with leaves and branches, twigs of humanity,
and spring’s eager buds

warm sun on the hands recalls
what is beautiful:
magnolia’s magenta
sky’s promise of blue

what is beautiful is inside you too
breaking your heart into a thousand sanctuaries
to hold what cannot be held
shelter for your fear
for a new blossoming
measured in the distance of feet
a tree’s length between you and me
a letting go of the seeds
of what we thought would be



Sandra Fees lives in Reading, Pennsylvania. She served a term as Berks County Poetry Laureate (2016-2018) and is the author of The Temporary Vase of Hands (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Her recent work has appeared in The Comstock Review and Poets Reading the News.

Illustration of SARS-CoV-2 by Dr. David Goodsell used with the artist’s permission.


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