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

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