I don’t think it’ll get near us.
I heard there’s already some nearby—
The chatter swells in the airport and up in the clouds,
But comes to a halt up the long winding road.
The rusty copper masses of the cathedrals and bells
Climb up to reach the blue blanket of sky.
Then the marketplace; stop at a restaurant.
The food is delicious, the music is good, the people are cheerful.
Next day: the mountains.
Look up from deep in the canyon and see the misty clouds,
Speckled with dark green trees and foliage,
The smell of pure unadulterated nature.
A few more days in this haven of wonder and beauty.
First a hidden gem of a small town,
Then an escalade up the majestic earth,
And some moments of relaxation.
Back at the restaurant—
The chatter has returned, coming through the screens.
No school the week we would have returned,
More and more people showing signs.
Staring out the windows at the diminishing landscape,
The journey home is more uneasy.
The airport is overwhelming,
The claustrophobic ascension daunting,
The taxi-cab unbearable.
As time goes by
The situation becomes clearer,
Home becomes less of a refuge
And more an unending confinement.
I look back at the photos,
Desperately recalling every minor memory—
They would be the last pleasant ones for a while.
Emily Harris is a graduating high school senior in the Class of 2021. She plans to attend the University of Houston where she will major in History. She is from Houston, Texas, and plans to make a career there as a historian or museum curator. She enjoys participating in musical organizations such as her high school band where she plays the French Horn, and takes weekly piano lessons. She hopes to travel in her university endeavors to pursue her passion for European history and particularly the United Kingdom.