Poet’s Corner


I Am the Hug
By Don McLagan

I am the hug you didn’t get —
the bosom-soft embrace,
a rugged chest-bump
that didn’t press your heart.
There are no arms to sweep
you up like Dad’s when he
came home. There is no kiss
like Mother gave to take
away the hurt.

I am the hug you didn’t give —
the social distance that you kept
so breath and sweat and drip
of nose could find no home
on hand or clothes and then
expose a creepy path to finger,
lip and lung. You stayed away
just like they said, your arms
slack at your side.

Broadway is dark, no Opening Day,
the airplane seats are empty.
Sani-Wipes and Purell pumps
stand sentinel at doors.
Contagion graphs slope sharply up,
the market sharply down,
and eerie walks our street.
I am the hug you do not get
just when you need me most.

Don McLagan is an entrepreneur and poet who lives and writes on Chappaquiddick and in Sarasota, Fla.

Poets with a connection to Martha’s Vineyard are encouraged to submit poems to Laura Roosevelt at ldroosevelt@gmail.com