ASSENTED TO SHELTER
When I was young, an ice storm
drove us inside for days. Parents
stayed home, children ran wild, and
the lights went out. In that dark
silence, my family came from
routines, from jobs, to gather
round a table and fire.
Today, we are inside because a
virus spreads, and we shelter to
slow it. Now, the parent, I turn to
play the games that we have kept
in closets gathering dust. I turn
to listen to the news to know something
about when we can open the doors,
but we don’t speak much of these
things. We focus on what we can
do for the day to give us order,
what we can do to stay sane and
progress as the world outside shifts
into something we no longer recognize.
And I think to how in years
for others, these days will turn into
the memory of a lighted fire and
a family gathered for safety.
WILLIAM ALLEGREZZA edits the press Moria Poetry and teaches at Indiana University Northwest. He has previously published many poetry books, such as Stone & Type, Cedar, Step Below: Selected Poems 2000-2015, Ladders in July, Fragile Replacements, Aquinas and the Mississippi (with Garin Cycholl), and Densities, Apparitions; three anthologies, including The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century and La Alteración del Silencio: Poesía Norteamericana Reciente; seven chapbooks, including Sonoluminescence and Filament Sense; and many poetry reviews, translations, articles, and poems. He founded and curated series A, a reading series in Chicago, from 2006-2010.