Normal isn’t real. But real isn’t real either. The animal lives in sickness, dispute, hunger, and exhaustion. Sure, there’s the other stuff–most of all, fear and love–but at any moment the human animal swims in a cocktail of distress, surfacing from time to time and catching a breath.

Two days ago I spent the morning shopping for groceries while wearing a mask on my face and produce bags on my hands.

Yesterday, I hacked down the weeds in the alley and cut the grass in the backyard. Meanwhile, fourteen people in the state of Indiana died of COVID-19 complications.

In the garden, the blades of my mother’s irises are five hands tall & the peas and radishes have sprouted.