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2020-10-05T12:41:05-04:00October 1st, 2020|Musings on life|

A new language

I didn’t realize
before the pandemic
how much happiness
I collected from strangers.

All the ordinary moments
like opening a door for someone,
or stopping so they could cross the street,
or standing behind them in line
and making their baby laugh.

With masks,
I felt being in public
was too lonely at first,
so many people
but so little
connection.

But I realized
I just needed to learn
a new language:

their eyes.

How did I not notice before,
how they brighten
and widen
to mean different kinds
of thank you.

Or how the crinkling of skin
at the corners
becomes a bouquet
of a hundred smiles.

And how they get small
like pressed springs,
packed tight with joy.

So, please, wear your mask.
I will too.

We can be distant
without disappearing.

Let’s fill hearts again,
moment by moment,
the way strangers always have,
exchanging small kindnesses
without words.

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