Writing the Distance: Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan

The Covid 19 pandemic is isolating Alaskan writers. We can no longer attend workshops or public readings. The coffee bars where we met with other writers are closed. To bridge these physical gaps, 49 Writers is providing this on-line forum for Alaskans writing the distance. Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan provides today’s poem and photograph.

One-Year-Old in Quarantine

Since we cannot see you in person,
The video shows your arms out,
your face frozen in startled wonder,
as if you had been transported to another universe,
which of course you had. There is an entire world
Outside your little house in the big woods.
You slowly, carefully squatted
Orienting yourself closer to the safety of earth.
Closer to the ground, your
Tiny fingers picked up a rock.
It was as if holding something in your grasp
Brought you back to yourself.
The “wow” of something you can carry is
Less overwhelming than the “whoa” of the cosmos,
We are all, little Eva, grasping at pebbles.


Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan lives and writes in Palmer.

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