Inside Out (Corona Virus poems)

When we bought our house

four good friends in small city apartments

34 years ago just bought a house

in a town with 400 people

small mountains smooth sky

didn’t think much about neighbors

land enough for gardens

this would be our second home didn’t consider

differences either differences always

ok with me first summer the farmer’s wife

what a talker we were friends then our first summer

we held a potluck more than 100 people came

Klaus brought hot dog casserole

Ruby made homemade ice cream

we were in this town together not thinking

about the size of our homes

who lived where and what we believed. Some

people had a little money.  Some had none.

Side by side we weren’t the same.

Our across the street neighbor asked if I

believed in Jesus Christ and when I said I thought

Jesus was amazing that was a good enough answer for her

and now that we are talking about differences

and second homes and practical solutions and what it means

to have a crisis where we all belong should we

stay in our apartment should we drive upstate

will we be stopped  if we are New Yorkers

to see if we are sick now that the world has told us all

to stay at home and they are right we should

now that the world has changed I think about

where we all belong and come to the same conclusion

from all those years ago. Side by side.




Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. Thumbs up on the Portside poem. But this one deserves even more readers. It’s what we all need to remember these days.
    A footnote: Webster’s Unabridged Online says that “social distance,” originally coined by sociologists, means “the degree of acceptance or rejection of social intercourse between individuals belonging to diverse racial, ethnic, or class groups.”

    1. Dear Barbara THANK YOU THANK YOU. I am looking for HELP (social media etc.) to broaden my audience. Because I think poems might be able to help even a little bit. Like Music. And April is National Poetry Month. love

  2. beautiful and moving, dear esther. so glad you’re in the planet at the same time as me 🙂

    may you stay strong and healthy!!


  3. Esther, it makes me kind of hungry for a hot dog casserole. Haven’t had one since 1966. What a clever gracious response to those pesky Jesus questions. Bravo! I love it when you write about this side of the river. Remember your hospitals are much better before you hightail it to the hills. Oh. Just a little reminder. We’re New Yorkers also. Folks up here are a little touchy about that being side by side and all.

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