Olga Zarytska photo licensed
How to Stay Connected During a Pandemic
by Nina Bennett

Forget Zoom. Order colored pens, note cards,
stickers. Wait three weeks to hear a thud
as the package is tossed on your stoop. Select
a pen, fuchsia or teal, begin. Find a pithy
upbeat quote, copy it on the card with butterflies
migrating across the front. Write with calligraphy
you taught yourself while awaiting your order.
Push beyond I miss you. Try I remember
the day we met for happy hour, and you sang
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer along with the jukebox.
Include praise—I hear your voice, true as a mountain
stream—and an affirmation—Thoughts of getting together
sustain me. Close with a wish. This can be simple,
such as I wish we lived closer. Dig through desk
drawers for a stamp, and as you place the letter
in your mailbox, picture your best friend trudging
through snow to her mailbox.

Photo by Olga Zarytska, used by permission.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My best friend of 42 years lives a little more than an hour away. We used to see each other frequently, including girlfriend weekends away, but Covid has put a temporary halt to our get-togethers.

PHOTO: The author (left) with her best friend, Michele.


Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of The House of Yearning, Mix Tape, and Sound Effects (Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series). Her poetry has been nominated for the Best of the Net, and has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications, including South85, I-70 Review, Gargoyle, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review. Awards include 2019 finalist Jack Grapes Poetry Prize, 2014 Northern Liberties Review Poetry Prize, and second-place in poetry book category from the Delaware Press Association (2014). Nina is a founding member of the writing group TransCanal Writers, publisher of Five Bridges: A Literary Anthology.