Poem 27 (National Poetry Month): Normality is Too Normal

We could do this, you know. Normality as we once knew it is gone. The slate really could be wiped clean (with a Clorox wipe) and we could begin something extraordinary, if we wanted to do it. I don’t think we will right now because you need a visionary leader to accomplish such a thing, probably more than one. And I haven’t seen many visionaries recently. But right now while the slate is erased, I can’t help but contemplate the possibilities.

Normality is Too Normal

By Michelle Garren Flye

Normality is too normal for me.

I have no wish to go back there.

What’s so great about normal?

Extraordinary is better.

Rainbows and butterflies

Are not normal at all.

Last year, small toads

Hopped through our yard

All spring.

That became normal.

It wasn’t great, though.

We ran over them by accident

And felt bad when we saw it.

Normal. Not good.

Definitely not great.

Roses and daffodils aren’t normal.

Not really.

You have to wait for them to bloom

And then they’re only here for a while.

They are extraordinary.

What’s normal?

If you think about it all the great moments

Aren’t really…normal.

So why go “back to normal”?

Forward to extraordinary, instead!

Product placement… Photo by Michelle Garren Flye

Poem 24 (National Poetry Month): When We Return to “Normal”

Everything feels wrong now, and it seems that everyone is trying to quantify it and box it up and make it what they’ve always known. “Don’t judge people if you see them not wearing a mask or taking their kids out or trying to go back to work—you don’t know what they’re going through,” say some. This is true. But it does not escape my sense of fairness that some of these people are the same ones who are quick to judge those who take their families and flee from death and poverty in other countries. Don’t judge them, either. You don’t know what they’ve gone through.

We all want to go back to “normal”, but I don’t think we’re ever going to get back there from here. We’ll go back to some semblance of day-to-day life, but I believe what scifi writers have been warning us about—that some event would come along eventually that would change us forever—has finally happened. Where we go from here is really up to us. We can remain politically divided with half of us in denial about our doom and the other half constantly lecturing about it—or we can unite and fight for survival. I pray we opt to find the best in all of us when we declare victory over this virus…and return to “normal”.

When We Return to “Normal:

By Michelle Garren Flye

“I like that lady’s mask, Mommy.”

The little boy doesn’t wear a mask.

His face bare, he points at me.

Why is he here, I’d love to ask?

But life now is far from easy;

You can’t judge or take to task

Those whose differences you see.

Maybe we will remember this lesson

When we can declare our battle won.

When the world returns to “normal”

And we look each other in the face again

We may remember we are all mortal

And not judge each other by colors of skin.

Maybe we will recall we’re all one world

And where we come from is not our sin.

Maybe this can be done because it’s natural

When we survive a crisis with our fellow man.

Yes, let’s look at each other and see only “us”

When we stand on the battlefield victorious.

Like a flower conquering concrete, we will survive. It’s where we go from there that matters. Photo by Michelle Garren Flye

Poem: All Right Again

Like a promise that we will truly be all right again, I found the first violet of spring today. Photo by Michelle Garren Flye

It’s so tempting to think everything’s fine. The kids are home from school, sure, but that’s happened before. They always go back. Downtown is mostly empty and the restaurants are all closed but hey, that happens whenever we get half an inch of snow or ice. And yeah, people are having to cancel dream vacations and the stock market is tanking, and nobody is going to parties or play dates or visiting grandparents…no, everything’s not fine.

Eventually it will be, though. We’ll pick up the pieces, but I think we’ll pick up a few other things at the same time. A new appreciation for a hug from a friend, for instance. Less reluctance to get up and take the kids to school in the morning. A newfound faith in life and whatever power has helped us get through it all.

Yes, eventually it will be all right again.

All Right Again

By Michelle Garren Flye

When we pick up the pieces again, what will find there?

Can we put them together the way they were,

Or will it become something wholly new?

For some will be missing, little pieces torn away.

Lost in the big picture of our new normalcy.

What will it be like, this mishmash of bits?

When we turn it shiny side up, will enough be left?

Or will the picture be distorted by what we lost?

Or maybe by what we added along the way.