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Tales of the Times

Tale of the Times – Elissa Cottle

3/23/20 Poem Pandemic Companions My sons are grown, I am my child now. In 60 years I have never been afraid of the world. But today it warns me to stay inside that anyone I may see within speaking distance is suspect. Their speech may carry invisible drops of poison while they are smiling, pleased to see me, across the checkout counter, over coffee. My last son at home is my companion this year before he begins a new life in college. A friendly Target cashier, he is telling his employer he cannot come to work, fears he’ll bring the illness home, risk his mother’s life. I am my child now, but he is still the one afraid of benign insects, sheepishly asks me to kill the ants crawling dangerously as menace in a corner of the bathroom in the basement. ~ Elissa Cottle

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