Cynthia Trenshaw

“Statues” was a game we played
during recess on the playground.
One kid (usually a bossy girl)
controlled the action.
The rest of us would dance and whirl,
until she shouted
Mid-action we’d all stop.
Whoever wobbled first
from their “statue” stance was ousted.
Some poses were so ridiculous
that we’d start giggling and jiggling
and soon we’d all fall down

Decades later, in our whirling lives
an overbearing virus has shouted
and we have halted.
We’ve sheltered-in-place
hidden in fear
closed our businesses and schools.
We’ve lost our footing
lost our lives.
We’ve been confused and disinformed,
we’ve emptied grocery shelves.
We breathe behind masks,
check on neighbors,
send “I love you” emails.
we try to find our way
back into the schoolhouse,
but no recess bell has rung;
the teachers have all gone home.
We’re lying on this playground
not laughing.

Cynthia Trenshaw has served as hospital chaplain, midwife to the dying, massage therapist to homeless people on the streets and under the viaducts of San Francisco, and guardian ad litem for the superior courts of four Washington counties. 

Her nonfiction book, Meeting in the Margins: An Invitation to Encounter Society’s Invisible People (She Writes Press), won the 2018 Independent Publisher gold medal in Social Issues. Her first book of poetry is Mortal Beings (Finishing Line Press, 2019). 

She currently lives on Whidbey Island, WA, where she ponders big questions, writes poetry, and posts essays to her website

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