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Pandemic Christmas Plan B

Nothing is as it should be.

No more dessert and coffee parties

For girlfriends who are no longer girls

At 60 years and beyond.

Smiling faces boxed up on a computer screen,

Like the treasured gifts

that they are.

House decorated

To lift the spirits

Of one.

Family potluck holiday meals

Give way to Google Meet

phone calls.

No crowds in stores at the mall

To navigate

And irritate.

Hours alone online scrolling,

Arms aching,

Pocketbook breaking.

Christmas Mass without friends,

My family

of faith.

God’s message of love now enters my heart

Through the life-giving stream

On TV.

Nothing is as it was.

And all is well

With me.

—Lydia A. Marrufo

December 2022

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