Poem: Unstoppable (an ode to art)

When this whole coronavirus thing started, I mourned the theaters closing down, the canceled basketball seasons, the silenced concerts. In my mind, art is what makes us all who we are, whether we make it, appreciate it or resist it. That’s why repressive regimes cut art funding. That’s why freedom of expression is the first freedom lost and the last to be regained. Art pushes boundaries governments don’t want to be pushed, and when it’s given up voluntarily as it has been in the Covid-19 crisis, I sometimes worry it won’t return easily.

And yet.

Art is still happening. Theaters are finding ways to stream plays. Musicians are offering live stream concerts. Sports fanatics are getting their fix by watching classic games. And this got me started thinking. Art has always found a way. It always will.

Unstoppable (an ode to art)

By Michelle Garren Flye

It squeezes through the cracks.

Look there, at that wall, solid brick

Built to contain, to hold back, to keep out.

Sturdy and solid, at least eight inches thick…

But don’t lose concentration, don’t turn your backs!

I tell you, if you do, it will creep through the cracks.

It’ll ooze through the tiniest of the littlest of spaces.

And what harm can that do, I can just hear you ask.

What harm can a little bit do, even in the worst cases?

I’m glad you asked, because it’s likes poison in snacks.

It’s the sneakiest of things, when it slides through the cracks.

No one understands just how serious it is.

It will decay all our rules, promote thought and reflection.

That kind of thing will spell the end of all this.

Maybe it’s time we start to make tracks.

You can still stop it! Maybe pile sticks into stacks?

Or chew up some gum to stop the hole fast?

As a last measure, you can hold it back with your hands?

But you’ll feel it squeezing, creeping, oozing past…

There’s no way to keep art from getting through the cracks.

Photo by Michelle Garren Flye