We bend, grasp, pull
the dried remains
of Black-eyed Susans
on the first warm day
of Spring. The work is hard—
the Sues are invaders, after all,
rampant, beautiful but wild.
I lose myself in the task,
the brown earth clings to my hands,
beads of sweat dampen my forehead.
Bend, grasp, pull.
For the first time in weeks,
I am not all-consumed by that other invader,
the one who lurks six feet away
wearing the guise of friend, family, stranger.
I am not riveted to the talk-box
with its dire warnings of peaks and curves,
shortages and lotteries.
I am not fear-focused
on whether my meager supply
of wipes and sanitizer will last
through the battles ahead.
I am not obsessed with worry
over the man toiling beside me—
my beloved husband
with three pre-existing conditions.
I am bend, grasp, pull.
I am just a woman, doing yard work.
Grateful for this respite.