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Expectations high,
Life and energy draining,
“The year of the suck is ending,”
Seeds of hope, with vigor, trying, trying…
To spring forth and say “good riddance.”

Gatherings not recommended,
“Bodegas, restaurants, jobs, schools, everything closed.”
The world learns to adapt,
Work, school, birthdays,
Church, graduations, weddings,
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
Everything virtual from births to burials.

The pitchfork at play was
Stirring fears, insecurities and anxiety,
Mixed with “apathy and powerlessness”,
To “overwhelm” the senses into,
Sinking in helplessness and nothingness.

Airborne, dry cough, fever,
Killer, “deadly”, “disastrous,”
“Todo va pa’ el CARAJO,”
Epithets aplenty:
“The year from hell,”
“The year the world stopped,”
“A year of many don’ts,”
“A year like no other,”
“A fucked up year all around,”

“Regroup and find yourself,”
“Cansado, quien tiene tiempo?”
Time has found us, “eyes peeking out,”
“Happy to see you’re alive,”
“Miserable” at the same time,
Wrenching pain “transmuted” into survival.

Children, parents, grandparents, friends, loved ones…
So many have gone to find peace,
Daddy left a legacy of love,
Momma left a legacy of strength,
My doggie left beautiful memories,
Mami y Papi me hacen faltan pero tengo consuelo que estan juntos en la Gloria,
Amigo y hermano de mi alma, you found your light, thank you for being our friend.

The losses at times insurmountable,
Parachute a “free fall” of “grief,” “impotence” and “isolation,”
Numbing confidence, constricting and “inconvenient,”
The turbine stripping souls to the core,
What was pulling you down is no more.

“No going back to the way things were,”
“No time for sinvergüenzas,”
“Evolution,” devolution, revolution,
Growth, “change,” “challenge” and fight,
From “deepest darkness” to light,
“Blessed” with faith and determination,
Appreciation, “thankful” courage,
A resilient “true self” and new normal will emerge.

Caution, caution, caution…
Mask up,
Wash your hands,
Y manten la distancia social,
“Family,” this is an act of love,
Practice these simple steps diligently without paranoia.

Preserve your sanity, safety first,
Walk in the sun and feel the “fresh air on your face,”
“Watch flowers blossom” or “leaves fall,”
Hug your child after a long day of home schooling,
“Walk the dog,” the pet, the yoyo or…

“Introspection” of spirit will lead to “gratitude,”
Reflection will show not all was bad,
Babies were born, kindness renewed,
The lost were welcome into the fold,
Finding “patience” and “opportunity,”
Grace, faith and “generosity” too.

As the year draws to a close be resolute,
It was “memorable,” “weird” and “different,”
We managed and cannot give up,
“Keep dancing in the rain,”
Roister ready clap your hands,
Clang some pots and blow some horns,
Because “everything is gonna be alright.”

Roseann Rivera is a woman of Puerto Rican descent, born and raised in New York City, New York.

Rivera has a BA from Baruch College, CUNY with a dual major in Psychology and Spanish, concentrations that have contributed to her understanding of people and culture. She works as an administrative assistant, is a caregiver, is kind and lives a simple life.

Her poetry and prose until now has been an outlet of emotions, observations and venting shared exclusively with family, colleagues and friends. It is now time to share her meanderings with others. Her signature is interchangeably either Roseann or Chana (her childhood nickname).

Roseann currently resides in New York City, New York. Follower at @PoemsbyChana

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