This is reposted from Facebook with the permission of Marsha Battle Philpot, a Detroit author, speaker and connector who uses the pen name shown. Information on her latest book, "The Detroitist," is at the end.
By Marsha Music
In these Corona mornings, in the quietude before the day, I awaken and think my daily prayer of thanks for waking up.
I listen for every change in every breath and swallow, every sniffle, for the possibility that the mad virus has taken hold in me.
I am unaccustomed to leisure, off work. My usual rushed Facebook scrollings before leaving for the job are now slow ramblings through the minefields of posts on the inevitability of worsening scenarios.
I lay here, my hurt foot aching as usual, its nagging now moved to the background of my concerns. I berate myself for being at high risk for a difficult time or even death; for all that exercise I didn't do, food that I ate, walks I didn't take.
I think today is the day that I should make sure my last wishes are clear, the virus strikes hard and fast I hear. I pray that not only I, but my sons and my son's family be spared. I pray for those I love. I pray to survive.
I pray for the Facebook souls whom I encounter each day, and marvel at the ability of folks to rise and shine, to pitch in for the fight. I am stunned at the before and after of it all.
Out of nowhere yesterday, I began to miss my mother, who died 12 years ago. I had the urge to call her all day. Not to hear words of faith and strength -- she wasn't like that -- but to listen to her quiet incredulity about this incredible situation, her detached resignation in times of trouble -- and her rueful bemusement at folks fighting over toilet tissue.
Or perhaps I wish to hold her lovely hand from beyond, as I face this mass mortality.
Here, in the crepuscule*, I am alone with God. I listen deeply to myself, inside myself, for a tickle in the throat, for a shortness of breath -- but it's only my panic rising.
In this bizarre quiet -- no alarm, no cars starting up for work, no early traffic. I am comforted but still incredulous, knowing that I am in concert with others all over the world, in this early morning Corona reverie.
I am grateful to wake up one more day.
* The crepuscule is that brief, still time at dawn or dusk; not quite dark, and not quite day. Thelonious Monk wrote a beautiful tune dedicated to his wife, called "Crepescule with Nellie."
Also by Marsha Music:
This 66-page paperback, published last month, is an anthology of poems and stories about Detroit.
It's $14.99 (plus shipping) at Amazon, and also is available for Kindle ($5.99).