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Thursday, September 03, 2020


by Jacqueline Jules

At the park this summer
Jacob misses the big blue truck
full of treats.

I am relieved.

How could I let him
run to the window for a fudge bar?
Risk one hand touching another?

It’s enough of a gamble to ride bikes
on the circular path, reminding Jacob
every few minutes to keep his mask on,
stay away from Joseph over there
on the swings.

How will Jacob remember this summer?
The only one without the ice cream truck?
Or when he was taught to keep his distance,
to fear the air others exhale?

School on a screen begins in three days.

Will he ever learn to hold hands again?

Jacqueline Jules is the author of the poetry chapbooks Field Trip to the Museum, Stronger Than Cleopatra, and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her work has appeared in over 100 publications including TheNewVerse.News, The Rising Phoenix Review, What Rough Beast, Public Pool, Rise Up Review, and Gargoyle. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.