Behind Cloth on Strings

Madelyn Hicks
Jackson High School
Grade 12

Darkness creeps around her body.

But you don't see it.

The boy sits alone in the waiting room to see his dying grandpa.

But you can't tell.

The wedding got canceled, and their happiest day never came.

But you wouldn't know.

A mother says congratulations to her child over FaceTime,

the child finishes the most important chapter of their life,

all behind a piece of cloth attached to two strings.  

A father tells his children he loves them over FaceTime,

he is stuck overseas and can't come home,

but you wouldn't know,

this is life behind cloth on strings.

The cloth covers the faces of the students and teachers.

Schools grow empty and dark.

Churches sit every two rows apart, livestreams now.

Shelves become bare, and stores are silent.

Colleges send kids home. Shelters close.

Food banks lose produce and meat.

Time Square stands still.

Faces that can no longer be recognized,

this is life behind cloth on strings.

Missed birthdays, graduations, funerals, weddings, goodbyes, hellos.

The kindergartners miss their first day of school

and the seniors miss their last day,

visiting nursing homes through windows,

parks are closed, children become silent,

this is life behind cloth on strings.

The world stands still, people become ill.

This is the life we lived behind cloth on strings