community within the distancing

community within the distancing

distancing away from each other

By Henry H. Walker

social distancing is not just physical space between us,
it is the off putting weirdness of Zoom interactions,
those rectangular(rekˈtaNGgyələr) boxes,
windows into where the other person is physically,
but eyes don’t meet eyes,
and it’s hard to read the other’s feelings,
hard to get past how distracted the visual(ˈviZHo͞oəl) says the other person is,
the smile and nodding head help a bit to build the connection,
though other problems abound:
poor lighting so it can be hard to even see one another,
poor connection so it can be hard to hear each other,
let alone the distance of those who resist(rəˈzist) sharing their face onscreen,
retreating(rəˈtrēt) into their anxieties or the distraction of multi-tasking,

building community at school is a wonder
that calls for many hands and many faces working together,
touching each other with the eyes and with the self,

I joy and despair as I watch and feel all of us
craving(ˈkrāviNG) the psychic(ˈsīkik) touch of another and another,
while denied the physical touch and proximity(präkˈsimədē)
that help the pieces find each other,
when they can then click together into a whole,
in which many become one.