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Poetry & Writings

Hello From the Other Side

By Laya Steinberg

Hello from the other side.
I know you.
You’re spinning a flock of yarns.
That imagination of yours so practiced at conjuring images
Of events both dire and grim
The knotted details that twist into your storyteller’s braids.
You study humanity and its proclivity for inaction, denial, and fear,
Then commit that to memory and paper.
Lodge it in your deepest bones where it grows.
But that is fiction of what is yet to be.
Stop inventing.
Start a new draft.
Revise the plot.
Here, in this moment.
This new fairytale of yours could have—
Maybe not a happy ending—
But a hopeful one.
One where we got it right
We stayed home and baked bread from scratch
Called our friends on their unfortunately-timed birthdays
Remembered our elders
And the new neighbor from a far-away land.
A reality where humanity pressed the reset button
To an existence that was out of synch with nature and each other.
We woke up in the nick of time.

From where I sit, future-you looking back,
I want to remind you
To inhale the scent of spring buds,
Absorb the warmth of the sun,
Ask a tree for the wisdom of roots and be still with the answer.
Greet your animal friends.
Write a poem.
Make someone laugh.
Eat an extra cookie, or three.
And then do it again next hour and the next,
Until you reach me on the other side,
Where we are safe.
Not the same.
Never the same.
But settled into the new normal.
One peaceful minute at a time.

© Copyright 2020 Laya Steinberg

Fri, December 8 2023 25 Kislev 5784