Vatsala Radhakeesoon

Where have those days gone
when dreamily I could look up at the day sky
and from all angles let the sunlight
fall on my face?
Where have those days gone
when I could freely breathe the greenness
of the island’s air?
Where have those days gone
when in blue jeans all carefree
I could walk on the town’s streets
and greet dear friends in spontaneous hugs –
an act rather culturally labelled humane?

Now I gasp for air
as obstructed is my nose
by some strange getting- used –to- wear
The Pandemic Fashion, they call it
So I walk hastily on the streets
No time to linger with endless blue
No shaking of hands, no embrace
as social alienation tunes its whip
I hide my smile, my grin my laughter, my misery
behind a non-allergic mask – my only shield
against  hovering death

My poetic mind wanders down some distant hill
then wonders
“ Can they read my eyes behind dark sunglasses?”