Isolation sonnet, 6

A half-mile walk in the direction not-toward-the-mall, the suburban homes
give way to open fields full of noisy blackbirds and jays. Here the buttercups
have gone wild like undergrads at the beach ignoring social distancing
and glorying foolishly in their own youth. Masked, and walking the length
of one field’s heavily weathered split rail fence here and there hold together
with baling wire, I take a couple snaps with my phone that completely lose
the glory of the yellow. It’s a bit like trying to take a picture at night of
the profusion that is the Milky Way and getting vague and underexposed gray
instead of the 400 billion strewn diamonds. Farther on, where the road turns
sharply north, I turn back to look over the way I have come: the view goes far
as the ridge on the other shore of the lake, then farther to the notch in the ridge
to the south that’s the valley where a thousand years ago the Tutelo people
lived until soldiers of the very young America’s Revolutionary Army killed them
on the orders of the father of our country. Quite a view from here, really.

Isolation sonnet, 5

All day at the desk by the big sliding glass doors while
the contagious world gradually greens, shifts of
flowers rise and fall in the breeze. Safety-yellow daffodils
bow out to a cluster of tulips, bulbs squirrels planted
and forgot and which surprised us when they emerged.
The longer we’re in here out here, the more I feel in touch
with the birds and rabbits, chipmunks and juncos, than
I feel with those I once shared work space with.
Casual conversation with acquaintances seems like
a strange dream now, a lost skill. Out here, the drama
of bug-hunting robins and grackles matters more.
Deep within red tulips, a dark six-sided sanctum sanctorum
is rimed in yellow, dusty stamens waiting for carpenter bees
to take back to the homes they would burrow into our home.

Isolation sonnet, 4

Imagine my surprise when we get a clear night and I see
the moon’s already back around, rising through
the late evening again and later draping bright lines
across bedroom rug, halfway up one wall. Imagine
my surprise catching myself almost-tripping through
patterns of light and dark as if they were solid, or semi-,
as if they created an entirely different topology
through the familiar room. The dining room becomes
a maze of long bright trapezoids, kitchen a single passage
of light through the void. After a while I am a creature
crawling the ocean floor, an insect with eyes so different
that sight’s not sight. Imagine seeking out walls with fingertips
and rug boundaries with toes and soles. Day seems like
some damn-fool dream of easy space, and impossible.