Conversation in Isolation

Neighbors nail the planks
dividing their yard from mine.
Our durable fence.

I walk half a block
before realizing I’ve
forgotten my mask.

One ant following
another, trusting we all
are going somewhere.

Stretched between two poles,
clothesline outside my window,
a robin’s rest stop.

Lemons fallen on
the sidewalk to be rescued
for my potpourri.

No one and nothing
touches me but this blue wind
with cool caresses.


Copyright © 2021 by Harryette Mullen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 20, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This excerpt from a haiku journal coincides with a period of isolation, as a public health measure, in Los Angeles, California, in the year 2020. As a dreaded virus traveled freely around the globe, I sheltered within the physical limits and daily rituals of a circumscribed life.”
Harryette Mullen