The prayer for being able to order food online
A hundred years ago
check that – fifty years ago
check that – ten years ago
our path to filling the refrigerator
and the cabinets, and ultimately
our stomachs and the stomachs of those we love
involved driving to the super-market and
wandering its aisles with a cart we had
no license to drive.
We knew something might be up when
they started providing wipes for the handles
God forbid we should touch something
someone else has touched.
We can still put our masks on and
as long as we stay six feet from anyone who breathes
and honor the spaced-out marks taped to the floors
we can still search those aisles, though
the images of too many empty shelves
is haunting. As far as I can tell, there’s no flour
for a million miles.
But if we choose not to assume this in-person risk
the electronic Gods have provided us with
the buttons we need to bring the essentials into our homes.
The Freshs, The Instas, The Dashes, the Grubs
All we have to do is move our mice, or rub our fingers
across our personal devices and the staples of our existence
not to mention the fully prepared offerings of our
favorite in-person haunts, will arrive at our door
contact-free on the porches of our limitation.
No-one goes hungry during this pandemic.
We will drink
We will eat
We will be sated
The prayer for being able to Zoom
Whoa is the person who lives alone during the pandemic.
their only friend being familial glimpses in the mirror
Whoa are the roommates who only have each other’s air to breathe.
Whoa are the spouses who originally agreed to til death do is part
but assumed there’d be breaks, right?
Whoa are the people who crave physical human touch
the huggers, the hand holders and shakers, the fist bumpers.
the sound of another breath missing from our track.
In another generation we’d have almost forgotten
the movement of lips, the blinks of eyes, the tenor of voices.
But today our electronic infrastructure allows us
to be in the same room as everyone we’ve ever known.
Our parents in whatever state they’re in.
Our regular crowds for Passover seders.
You want concerts? There’s more live music
broadcasting to your screens than anything ever-paloozad.
We are safer electronically together.
We are growing our beards and not just because of the Omer.
We are seeing the true colors of our hairs
on the head of everyone we’ve ever loved or wanted to love.
We are Zoom-zooming and adding the word live to
our entire online ennui.
We hardly had to learn how to do this.
It was already there when they turned off the outside.
We’ve been preparing for this the whole time.
So until we can go skin on skin
breath on breath again.
Thank you to the prophets of Silicon Valley
for making it so we can digitally commingle.
As it says in the very first story –
It is not good for us to be alone.
and thanks to them
we are not.
The prayer for front line workers
We used to be specific about who we
applied the word hero to.
Our doctors, and firefighting professionals
Our activists, and soldiers
Our law enforcement professionals
and the occasional politician who stuck to their morals.
We sometimes confabulate the words hero and fame
We’re in awe of our rock stars and movie stars
Certain authors get the royal treatment
and in some communities just being the person who tells you the weather
will get you a better seat at dinner.
We never considered the grocery store shelf stocker
the checkout person, the mail carrier
the one who brings us our boxes, often in two days or less.
How about the one who is willing to go into
the store for us, or the restaurant
to gather the things we need, or even just want.
Someone’s bringing me a new TV today because
I wouldn’t dare leave the house.
These people doing these tasks we used to think mundane
are literally, and I’m, literally not one to use the word literally
risking their lives so ours can continue to thrive.
I’d say they are our new heroes
but I think they’ve been our silent heroes this whole time.
Anyone who does anything to keep the world moving
so we are given the confidence to know that the
sun will keep shining on the next new day
Blessed are people and everything they do.
Our world goes around on the back of their Torah.