COVID-19 Diary: 4/9/20

the view out the back
window between three blocks of
parallel houses,

from the bright red chairs
in the nearby back yard to
the narrow glimpse of

the red awning on
Coney Island Avenue
blocking further view,

flat light and grey sky,
stillness cut with sirens and
the caws of a crow,

the blank after I’d
just seen my dad alive, when
they told me he died,

the sparrows cheeping,
the toilet flushing, the green
lawn and the green house,

the morning routine
of fingers tapping words on
the white of the screen.

Roy Herndon Smith