Love & Wisdom

Stories from Seattle: Play Until the Last Light

A Bainbridge writer pens a poem for the pandemic

By Cindy Vandersluis April 15, 2020


This is part of a series of personal essays we’re calling Stories from Seattle, contributed by our community and designed to show how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting the lives of Seattleites. Want to share your story, coping mechanisms, wildest ideas? We’d love to hear. Please email:

Play Until the Last Light

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time

since World War II

but my neighbor and his young son

set up their small net in an alley

and batter the ball

while the sun sets and fog settles.

Their voices echo as my white dog illuminates the way

on a twilight walk through empty streets. The small hardware store

will open tomorrow, selling essentials: tools, toys, and feed

for the sheep, goats and horses.

Cherry blossoms glow soft like cotton candy

and daffodils extend their golden cups in the purest of offerings.

Along the beach, the Sound rolls on,

bringing life ashore then reclaiming it

in the endless cycle of the Salish Sea.

Chief Sealth walked these shores,

blessed the towering trees, home to Bald Eagle and Crow.

What sorrows did he know and survive?

It’s coming back to me now, this feeling of waiting –

for the test results,

the baby’s birth,

my Father’s last breath.

In between and unknown, the ringing of the

telephone bringing news,

bringing news

good or bad.

Good or bad, we must answer.

These moments come and will again.

Can I suspend the longing to know, and simply be?

I watch the hail fall,

tenderly it scatters among the primrose

leaving them still standing.

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