In Case of Emergency

I once saw a statue of a four-year old girl encased in glass
untouched by loving hands, falling leaves, or friendly squirrels.
Untouched by weather, she remained a perfect marble statue.

Likewise, my loved ones live in glass display cases.
Through computer screens, I see them.
Through devices, I hear them.
Through keyboard pads, we exchange words.

On my television, I watch workouts
and comedy shows. No more in-person surprises
brought to you by the art of improv.

My God remains encased, too,
beneath the shield of Zoom.

In this museum of glass,
I look at each exhibit.

You can see, but you can’t touch.
You can hear, but you can’t hold.
You can communicate, but you can’t play.

How sterile the environment.
How sterile my heart.

I want to pound on the glass and shout,
I miss you! Come back to me!

Someone, please,
break the glass and pull the fire alarm!

Run down the fire escape into my arms.
Shove your humanity into a hug.

May little ones hold your hands.
May elders sleep on your shoulders.
May friends feed your ears.

Break the glass;
pull the fire alarm of my heart.

Press your crumbling stone statue against mine
that we might touch
and feel the sun,
the rain,
and the soft autumn leaves
together.

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