Prisoner of Protection
First, everyone under 18 banned,
then everyone except doctors.
Next, no exterior mingle, neither
family nor friends except doctor’s visits.
Commodities I bring ferried
into Mom’s room by staff.
Bills she can no longer read nor pay
ferried out to me by staff.
I walk around the building, tap on the window
she is not allowed to open. She can’t hear me.
She cries. I use the cell phone, we talk while
looking through the window, touch palms.
The First Six Months, Poems During a Pandemic, Southern Chapter, Illinois State Poetry Society, October 2020
© Candace Armstrong