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  • Holly Stimson

We’re Still in a Global Pandemic

By Holly Stimson

And I’m cutting an onion,

and I still can’t cry.

Maybe I have COVID.

Maybe I’ve forgotten

What a good cry smells like,

what someone else’s food

tastes like,

so I haven’t noticed

I’m sick, and we’re dying.

My students asked me

if the Amazon was still on fire.

I forgot it was ever

even burning. I missed

the forest for the flames

of all the other fires—

dumpster fires, the students

doodle in their essays

with a shrugging laugh because

what else is there to say?

They’re growing up like that.

Even onions can’t make us cry.

And they’re laughing

because they’ll never go to prom

or throw caps above their gowns.

I don’t even know

what their faces look like.

They’re laughing,

and I’m not crying,

and what else is there to say?

These are unprecedented times.


Holly is a high school English teacher who is also a real human inside and outside the classroom. She obviously enjoys reading and writing, as well as cooking, biking, and hiking in beautiful Colorado with her partner. You can follow her at Twitter @hollihocks.

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