by David Southward
For lockdown blues, I don’t take drugs;
I picture rounds of thankful hugs
I’ll give my mom and dad and friends
when this goddamned pandemic ends.
I daydream cousins, uncles, aunts—
seizing the slightest circumstance
to try my virtual hugging art
on all who populate my heart.
Colleagues, book club, yoga class;
familiar faces that I pass
walking the dog; our mailman; clerks
who bag my groceries—even jerks
who’ve snubbed my real-life pleasantries
give in to a fictitious squeeze.
And on bleak days, when more self-care
is needed? Heck, I don’t stop there:
I hug all life forms within reach—
the students I don’t even teach;
cell phone vendors; dogs and cats;
Republicans and Democrats
and Independents. Without shame,
I hug the poor, the weak, the lame,
the rich and mighty—not content
until I’ve hugged the president!