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: [email protected].
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,
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.