Written Story by F.I. Goldhaber

Normal Life 

First Published, August 2020, in CHAOS: The Poetry Vortex

You have a nice home to shelter in,
food to eat, shows to stream, games to play.

You don’t live with an abuser or
parents who misgender you; insist
your orientation is sinful.

Yet you complain you’re deprived of your
social life, restaurants, bars, park visits.

You don’t need to risk your life and your
loved ones for minimum wage
without protection, sick leave, health care.

You’ve enough to pay your bills; credit
cards to order online; connected
devices allowing well-paid work.

But you miss the ball games, parties,
band performances, church services.

You don’t shiver in the cold, snow, and
rain under a tent if you’re lucky,
or just a cardboard box, or blanket.

If your throat is sore, your head feels hot,
you can telephone your physician.

You don’t have to stand in line for a
clinic that sends you home when they run
out of test kits. Or just keep working.

You know what the virus looks like,
how to prevent exposure and illness.

You don’t toil next to those who could be
infected with no information
how, or supplies, to protect yourself.

You fret about event and concert
cancellations, missed graduations.

You don’t worry about untreated
broken bones; forced sex without access
to birth control; deadly pregnancy.

The only people desperate for
life to return to normal are those
privileged to enjoy “normal” life.