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In the checkout line the woman behind me asks if I had seen any hand sanitizer or cleaning wipes, I said no I had not, my cart full of some basics, not a haul, not a stash, not a hoard, just spinach, mushrooms, bread and butter, some eggs, some milk not enough to get anyone by for the two weeks, or one week, just in case – the woman said she wanted to be prepared but she knew it was not that bad, and I wanted to ask her how she knew – how any of us know – we are not getting much science, much facts, not much – but we are getting the stories from China, where pollution cleared up after everything stopped in one town, from Italy, where the entire nation shut down to stop the spread of this thing that has been killing people, that is new, that is unknown, we are spreading it here, in America, like butter on bread, like gossip, like fake news but real, we are walking around, nothing is shut down, we are doing the American thing of being unprepared and bold about it, something macho about going out into a storm, something individualistic about take care of yourself on your own time, your own dime, something tragic about no safety net, no science – the woman said all we can do is hope and that right there is what struck me as American – not that we are hopeful and optimistic, but that we, despite evidence, despite other nations existing and telling us their truth, despite the realities of science, fact, history, logic, that we would rather spend our time and energy on hope and getting by  – I look around and want to wash my hands, I look around and want universal health care, I look around and want society to let us take a break for a while, I look around and want for us all to be taken seriously to be heard to be protected to be valued as humans, I look around and know right here in this budget supermarket, this low income grocery store, that these are the people that have to pin all they have on hope because so far nothing else has worked out and with hope it’s always  50/50 chance anyway  

©Jenny Justice. All Rights Reserved. 

Jenny Justice, Poet. Author of Love in the Time of Climate Change and Reveal. You can read more of her poetry at Justice Poetic.Sign up for her newsletter here.

Published by Jenny Justice

Jenny ‌Justice‌, Poet.‌ ‌Sociologist. Teacher. Mother. Woman. Author‌ ‌of‌ ‌Love‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌Time‌ ‌of‌ ‌Climate‌ ‌Change‌ ‌and‌ ‌Reveal.‌ ‌

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