Ellen Pickus


In the photo of myself taken six months

into the lockdown, my hair is almost half authentic,

years of pretense exposed at the dark and grayed roots as they age out,

so I can see myself more clearly than I have in a long time.

Friends and family visit; we pass

refreshments and news between us as always.

They sit across the table in their usual places

in the screen on my laptop, almost like being here live.

But I am alive, for now,

grateful for those near me,

grateful for the comfort of home and for the good food

I wish I could share through the screen.

If what exists now is the past curtailed,

I’ve had my allotted seventy years.

It is almost a life,

but very full.

ELLEN PICKUS is a retired teacher of English and creative writing; she lives on Long Island.  Before March of 2020, she volunteered at a local elementary school and at a senior center, where she led a creative writing workshop. She uses her poetry to raise money to fight Alzheimer’s disease.