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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.


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