Essentially Essential

Title: Essentially Essential

Submitted by: Alexis B.

I wrote this poem while reflecting on the current restrictions our society faces. I took a hiatus from social media after it turned into what seemed to be an egoic and political battleground This is essentially, a response to both.


Who is to decide what is essential?

This is starting to feel a bit experimental.

What’s on display seems almost insurmountable.

How little, as humans we are held accountable.

Isn’t it astonishing that a world full of adults must be reminded to simply wash their hands?

We shouldn’t need to be told. I’m a grown woman, you’re a grown man. 

I must simply trust in some higher plan.

Without trust, this would at times be more than I could stand.

What’s essential to one person, is not to the next. 

Some prefer phone calls, others to text. 

Some require a paint brush, to make the voice in their mind hush.

Some need a swing set, to help them forget.

A few need a book, to learn something new.

While others can get by just enjoying the view.

A park is essential for the man living in his car. At least he has that, for still many others have not made it that far.

I think of the man sleeping under the bridge. 

For him, less is essential, not even a fridge. 

What is essential? 

It depends who you ask. 

I don’t recall anyone taking the time or signing up for that task.

They just assumed what’s right for me, what’s tight for you.

That seems unfair. 

I don’t believe they expect us to care. 

They’ve chosen for us.

“But, look at them they’re so important”

Yuck, Ick, and gross. 

Still, we are all privileged the most. Especially, if the virus hasn’t made you it’s host. 

I am thankful for that, and everything else.

The sun is still shining, and I’m in good health. 

Little things are worth appreciating.

Without that, like the dollar they’ll keep depreciating. 

So when you’re about to blow up, commanding another to “stay the fuck home” 

I invite you to ask, “Are they in my zone?”

Who are any of us to boss someone else around?

We’re not the commanders of the world, country, state, or town.

That’s the governments job. At least that’s what we’re told.

They’re treating us all like we’re seven years old. 

Maybe they should. Look at the damage we’ve caused.

The planet’s gotten cleaner in the weeks we’ve been off.

I’ll use this time to think about what comes next.

How I can help-

Instead of what I can get.

We are the virus.

The Earth is our host.

We’ve dirtied it up, pole to pole and coast to coast.

We really ought to be more polite guests, and treat this place we call home with a bit more respect.