What is Normal


Our free range playgrounds of childhood have died.

We no longer live connected, but rather side by side

We know each other by first name only

Some live isolated and feel quite lonely

Gone are the days of front porch swings

Where friends may gather as evening begins

And lovers sit swinging hand in hand

It was wonderful // Life was grand

Our doors never locked and curtains seldom pulled

Kids ran free and no threat while at school

Played in the woods // climbed trees without nets

Disappeared all day and played with their pets

And if we ever needed help from a friend

We knew who to call // that neighbor round the bend

Seems the new normal arrived long before Covid

As life had already changed  // no matter what we did

Photo: Dwight L. Roth


This poem came to me after reading Reena Sexons poem:


Reflections on a Family Visit


A Family Visit

Placemats lay drying on the china cabinet

Dishes are running in the dishwasher

The activities are over all have gone home

From an evening of food and fun

Hamburgers cooked on the grill covered with cheese

Thick quarter pounders in a bun topped with Lettice and Onion

Grandson squirting the squirrel who wondered up on the rail

Kids on their i-phone tablet and book check their mail

Two girls wrestling on the hallway  floor

Grandson makes precarious swinging bridges with his toys

Crashing with a thud when the earthquake hit

Grandson and grandma head for the garden

Come back with a bag full of cukes and tomatoes

Putting the table back to normal size

Rain pouring down waited just long enough

Now time to go home but the rain still falls

Umbrella trips to the van will do

Little ones run and dance in the rain

It was great to see everyone that’s for sure

Now that their gone we clean up some more

Finally settling down to relax a bit in our chairs

Then off to bed with dreams in our head


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Painting: Dwight L. Roth