Editor's note: This poem represents the work of 12 area poets: Jane Callahan, Daniel Deitrich, Jake Griggs, Lea Jennings, Teri Joyce, Patricia Kemmerick, Susan McMillan, Leslie Redinger, Kit Rohrbach, Pamela Sinicrope, Barb Terrill and Steven Vogel. As a way to stay connected, McMillan started a poetry "round robin," asking Vogel to write the two first lines. The remaining poets, selected in random order, added one to three lines each, and in less than a week, the group had this finished poem. McMillan said the group started the project without indicating what it should be about. "We left that up to the writers, and let it evolve," she said. "It is clear that our currently restricted lifestyle is foremost in everyone's mind, and the ways each poet interpreted their own experience and feelings is remarkable."

It seems we live in old days, in suns that have been used

by peoples we thought we had surpassed.

Yet I know the universe expands,

Newsletter signup for email alerts

surpassing human-known time.

This quiet solitude we are not used to

gives way to thoughts long stored away

in albums full of empty pages.

Where are the photographs

we did not take?

Where are the love songs we did not sing?

It is as if an invisible winter has fallen

just in front of me, fields of snow

flowers —

not in bunches or bouquets,

not in baskets,

but each one standing separate, alone,

as singular as I

before I cross the final bridge,

thinking about meeting others long missed.

A new horizon beckons.

Each savored breath grows sweeter,

each walk becomes a treasured memory,

each kiss transforms into a hello and a goodbye.

The earth turns

while I straighten my gaze,

a Victrola rolling in the ether.

Time, wake in me new suns, new songs.

Purge this forsaken stranger from my skin.

The Post Bulletin publishes poetry by local and area writers every Monday. Send poems to Meredith Williams at life@postbulletin.com.