when the world became quiet

Wendy Brown-Báez

the animals entered the towns and walked the beaches
the birds sang loudly, braver than when forests and parks
were occupied by humans
the sea turned phosphorescent with life

the downtowns were silent, empty of cars, empty of shoppers
you could hear the bus going by two blocks away
the delivery person rang the doorbell and fled
the food banks had thousands of cars lined up
to receive a reprieve from hunger
the theater put on a virtual play and
the actors played to an invisible audience

dancers pirouetted in their kitchens and poets recited in their studies
and musicians in their living rooms performed with hearts afire
I saw more people creating online than I saw in a year’s time
I saw kindness blooming and taking over the Facebook feed
I saw corruption and power hammered on by the absence
of those who will not come home to us

I learned to be content in two small rooms
and my prayers, like the songs of the birds,
rang out more loudly and bowed in grief


About Wendy Brown-Báez
Wendy Brown-Báez is the author of the part-memoir and part inspirational writers’ guide “Heart on the Page: A Portable Writing Workshop” and the novel “Catch a Dream”. Her poetry and prose appear in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Wendy leads writing for healing and memoir workshops in community spaces, such as prisons, libraries, schools, churches, and healing centers. She is a member of the Mn Prison Writing Workshop and the Writing to Wholeness Collective.


when the world became quiet Copyright © 2021 by Wendy Brown-Báez. All Rights Reserved.

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