Skip to main content

A poem about pandemics, and friendship, on this Poetry Friday.

I awake to a world constrained
by autumn fog
that limits how far
I can see.

Train and bus carry me
through the fog
through the neighboring villages
through the city
towards my friend —
but at each stop along the way
the wider world remains hidden 
behind a grey curtain.

In the time before face masks and lockdowns, 
we greeted each other each week
with three kisses on the cheek.
We drank tea,
we talked,
we wrote new words,
we shopped at the farmer’s market

Together now, 
for the first time in months
we do not greet with three kisses
but we drink tea
and talk,
and as we do,
sun burns through fog,
reveals mountain and city,
pushes the boundaries of the world
back out again
to where they used to be.
© 2021, Elisabeth Norton, All Rights Reserved

Poetry Friday is being hosted by Laura Purdie Salas. You can find all the poetry goodness here.


  1. Ah, here's to the world's margins being pushed back to reveal something new, perhaps, and to make the strange seem a bit more familiar. Happy Friday.

    1. Isn't it funny how once familiar things now feel strange. How our world has been turned into a mirror image of what it once was. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Lovely, Elisabeth! I am astonished at how simultaneously hard and easy it is to get used to not touching when we need to not touch. I love the gray curtain of the fog, the blurred world, and (in my interpretation) the pandemic and masks that have separated us from each other.

    1. Thank you Laura! I hope the boundaries of our world will continue to open up to us in the months to come.

  3. Love! Both the poem and the prospect of the boundaries getting pushed out again. May it be so!

  4. I love how fog moves through this poem. Our world has changed so much.

    1. Thanks Jone. Where I live, fog is one of the hallmarks of autumn's arrival. It was fun to play with that as an image in this poem.

  5. The boundaries of the world. What a wonderful image.

  6. Beautiful poem Elisabeth, I like how it circles around towards the end, shifts gears, and sheds some light on loses with:
    "sun burns through fog,
    reveals mountain and city,
    pushes the boundaries of the world
    back out again"

    1. Thanks Michelle. I'm hoping that our boundaries will continue to open back up in the months to come.

  7. I love this, Elisabeth! A depiction of the kind of re-connection we're all hoping for on so many levels.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry Friday: The Party is Here!

 Welcome everyone to Poetry Friday! If you're new to Poetry Friday, you can read more about it here . I've been chasing deadlines all week, but poetry always provides a welcome pause in the busiest of schedules. Perhaps because of the kind of writing I've been doing (which is not related to poetry at all) it was a bit hard to get started on a poem this week. I looked at a few of the poetic forms I've bookmarked over the past months, but in the end, turned to one of my favorite forms, the acrostic .  Thanks for joining the Poetry Friday party today! Add your link to the party below. You are invited to the Inlinkz link party! Click here to enter

Poetry Friday: Welcome to the Party!

There is so much happening in our world right now, it can be hard to take it all in. In these times, more than ever, I am grateful for poetry.  Sometimes I write it.  Sometimes I have no words of my own, so I read and reflect on the poetic words of others.  Either way, poetry helps me process my thoughts and feelings about the world and my experiences in it. My poetic offering today is a poem I wrote earlier this spring, on a rare day when my husband had to go to the office for an in-person meeting and I took our usual lunchtime walk alone.  I am a creature of habit, but on that day I challenged myself to break routine and change direction, and this poem was the result. Today I go against the grain, turn left  Instead of right, Let the path take me away from home Instead of towards it. Today I go against the grain, go up the slope I usually walk down. Climbing uses different muscles Than descent. Today I go with the grain, walk downstream Instead of up, Walk with the flow, Instead of a

Poetry Friday: Welcome to the Party!

Hi everyone! Thanks for coming to the Poetry Friday party today! I'm so glad you stopped by. Last week, Mary Lee Hahn reminded us of the August Poetry Peeps challenge :  We’re writing after the style of Jane Yolen’s eight line, rhyming poem, “What the Bear Knows,” a poem  written in honor of her 400th book ,  Bear Outside . Our topic is  What the ____ Knows .  I love Jane Yolen's work and was excited to take on this challenge.  We love to hike, and one of our favorite things to do when hiking is to look and listen for marmots. They are abundant in the Swiss Alps, and we have spent many a peaceful hour watching them, as other impatient hikers pass us by, unaware that silence and patience will be rewarded with glimpses like this:  I'm looking forward to reading the other Poetry Peeps responses, as well as all of your poetic goodness. Thanks for joining the party! You can add your links here. Click here to enter