I Am Still Waiting to Leave the Cave

I Am Still Waiting to Leave the Cave

I wish I knew if I imagined it. 
Everyone was there, all the survivors 
waiting to exit the dark cave  
and walk out into the sunrise. 
I swear it is the ending to a movie 
I saw a long time ago or is it 
something my mind created 
to keep me sane in a pandemic? 
It has been a long year 
without my husband, who died, 
without my family, who stayed away, 
without my friends, also at risk. 
We called, we emailed and texted, 
we zoomed, we followed friends 
on social media, read books, 
and wrote stories and poems. 
I had groceries delivered  
and left in my cluttered garage, 
packages collected by UPS, 
medications sent by Fed Ex. 
Once a week I drove around town 
to save my car battery for that day 
when we can drive and visit again 
without masks or social distancing. 
I couldn’t have imagined it. 
It was too real, people blinking 
as they walked into the bright light 
arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder. 
I know it’s coming 
but I am still waiting 
to hug family and friends 
and feel human again. 


I wake up every morning and, after a cup of coffee, head to my computer and try to work until noon. I do this because I need to write as much as I need to breathe. I am on the fifth and final draft of my immigrant family saga novel filled with stories of both sides of our family. I am the only one left who knows these stories, and I have to make sure that my grandchildren remember so they can pass the stories down to their children and grandchildren. I could not speak English until I was five years old, which might be the reason I have always loved words and writing poetry. I thought that we would be past this point of the pandemic by now, but with the Delta variant raging, I fear that we will be back in quarantine this winter, and I will again be waiting to leave the cave.

About the Artist

Margaret Duda,  Centre County
Published:  August 19, 2021