I thought he needed my touch.
He looked empty.
My hand’s warmth could provide him respite.
But that wasn’t allowed.
I could offer only a smile and wave from across the room.
He nodded, resignation wrapped with tedium.
Latex gloves announced despair, their blue color an exclamation on our lives.
Jill has been writing since childhood. She believes well-turned phrases can connect emotions and people. She’s published academic work, but her main passion is fiction.
The young father presses his hands flat against the window. Although the mask covers half his face, the baby knows him. New game. Laughing, she reaches for the father’s hands, cool glass between them.
She lifts her arms, “Up.” Old game.
The father’s learned the new rules: he turns away.
Miriam N. Kotzin teaches creative writing and literature at Drexel University. Her collection of short fiction, Country Music (Spuyten Duyvil Press 2017), joins a novel, The Real Deal (Brick House Press 2012), and a collection of flash fiction, Just Desserts (Star Cloud Press 2010). She is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Debris Field (David Robert Books 2017).
It is 2003. The year of SARS. I tell my husband that my face mask is for his protection.
“Protection from what?” he asks with a shocked look on his face.
“My mouth. It is now off limits for fourteen days,” I reply. “But it will be worth the wait.”
Marjan Sierhuis has learned there is a first time for everything.