What 2020 Feels Like

Kristen Rohloff

2020 smells like the sting
of hand sanitizer in my nose,

Looks like the same walls
scrubbed clean because I have the time
because I’m home
because why not.

It’s my grandma overjoyed when we come to lunch
because we haven’t in a while
and that weighs on me
but not as heavily as loneliness weighs on her.

2020 sounds like press releases, spoken in grave voices
hopeless voices, reciting the daily death count
interjected with angry shouts because with so much stripped away
the failings of our system have been laid bare
found lacking
and it’s so unfair, so unjust.

And 2020 feels like so many expectations dashed
plans canceled
empty pages in the first planner I bought
its spine still stiff because I lost it in February
but it didn’t really matter, did it?
And when I found it, it still didn’t really matter.

This year feels like little arms wrapped around me
like warm bodies sitting next to me while I read
my voice hoarse because that’s all we’ve been doing most days.
Like a mask pressed to my face when I scan the grocery shelves,
my glasses fogging up but I leave it on
because it’s the least I can do.

2020 is not finished yet
still has some surprises to throw our way I’m sure
But it has left me weary
and I feel like it’s been at least a decade
since 2019.


About Kristen Rohloff
Kristen Rohloff, who writes under the pen name El Holly, enjoys writing, especially fantasy and poetry. Her fantasy adventure series, “Phantasmic Wars,” has been described by readers as “completely unique” and “very imaginative.” When she isn’t writing, she reads, teaches, drinks coffee, and goes on adventures with her family. She lives in Coon Rapids, MN with her husband, their two kids, and her favorite fluffball, Mack.


What 2020 Feels Like Copyright © 2021 by Kristen Rohloff. All Rights Reserved.

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