we were essential.

it was essential
that we came to work
sick because they were

essential meant missing
our child’s game
to work that extra shift, 
or knowing someone else
was putting our child to bed. 

giving thanks
for the microwave dinner
we ate before opening the store
for massive crowds, or
sitting alone in a dark room,
watching the Christmas lights twinkle. 

now we wonder how long a meager
savings account will last. 
the bills pile up as we teach
our child the math we never understood
in the first place.

cutting apart precious clothing
to make masks to keep us safe.
watching worship services on
bandwidth that is too slow. 
the future a blank wall
in front of us. 

tomorrow we will be essential again. 

so why aren’t we essential today?

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