The clinic at my old university
is a parking lot full of hope and fear.
One odd man in a boonie hat
pacing, obviously talking to himself
or to someone on an unseen phone;
from here it seems like he needs convincing.
Pairs of college kids laughing
and walking masked toward their gym.
The older couple complaining
as they return, unvaccinated,
to the car, that now they’ll have to
get all geared up for it again.
I’m sitting in my car
already double shot and thinking
about whether it will ever seem
like forever ago that we were here —
not wishing to go back to all the chaos
that got us here; more precisely,
that someday we will be in a place
where past as prologue means
that we shall find ourselves wiser,
steeped in a new understanding.