Social Distancing in Austin, TX

woman social distancing against a yellow background

The black grackle with the purple-green

iridescent sheen ambles by closer to me,

seated on a park bench facing Lady Bird Lake.

She knows nothing of social distancing.


A gray-black pill bug slowly traverses

the ground, aiming straight toward me

as I walk past the now-closed library.

He knows nothing of social distancing.


The yellow-brown striped bee,

god forbid, lands on my thumb

as I walk toward the side

of the Butterfly Bridge

that isn’t closed .

She knows nothing of social distancing.


A homeless man smiles when I ask

him if he’d like a breakfast taco and a coffee

when I stop, my first time outside, to support

a local Austin restaurant still open. He

walks closer, his dirty striped blanket draped

over his shoulders. I put my hand up to signal:

“stop, don’t come any closer.”

We are both still learning about social distancing.