Heather Knowles – Non-Essential – Pandemic

Non-Essential (What Can You Contribute?)
by Heather Knowles

this pantry needs beefing up
I am grocery shopping like a professional

what I can do outside of this home
no longer allowed nor necessary
no one cares about grammar
during a pandemic
all that matters 
can you breathe 
can I feed you
I am good at holding people 
close pushing away
pain expressing 
art I can talk about old 
west outlaws and midcentury 
misogynists comic book 
heroes and Nancy Drew 
clues but who 
needs to know the difference
between a Picasso and a Pollock
in the midst of mayhem

I’m offering all I have


Heather Knowles is a writer, performance poet, and founder of the (20 years and still running) Des Moines Poetry Slam. Her latest book, Jesse James, Johnny Cash, and Other Lovers is available online.