They’re dressing up cats on Facebook
and someone has taught a dog to play volleyball—
a natural, he always makes the return.
Bocelli and Orlenski transcend and console,
nepenthe for the quarantined.
I hold onto a kitchen chair and learn to plié.
The ballet master of the Houston Ballet
Instructs from a chair in his kitchen.
Paperwhite narcissi bloom down at Dan’s.
My dogs eat brussels sprouts. Images
of silliness and bodies in bags compete.
In self-isolation I plant pansies— des pensée—
and a slate colored junco in the Zelkova
watches me dig holes and think about you.
Virginia Beards taught British and European literature for 23 years at the Brandywine Campus of Penn State University. She has published a poetry collection, Exit Pursued by a Bear (Oermead Press, 2014), short fiction in Chester County Fiction (Oermead Press, 2011), contributed to the literary criticism industry, and re-discovered and edited a 19th century novel, The Real Charlotte, for Rutgers University Press. She is currently completing Inside the Kaleidoscope, a poetry collection. She has an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, a PhD from Bryn Mawr College, and lives on a farm in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster county where her praxis is writing, dressage, and keeping one step ahead of the vagaries of nature and her two criminal dogs.
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