What About Hugs?

I used to love hugs.

It was how I said hello and goodbye
in Hawaii.
It was an island greeting, a mark of our civilization.

Your quick embrace
soothed me.
Healed my isolation.
Set me free
to just be me.

But, now, a wave

from across the room

will have to suffice.
So, please keep your distance.

Don’t think twice
Wear a mask
Don’t exhale
cough or sneeze.
You may infect me. In fact, your hug
could kill, exponentially.

Please walk away
leave me with a smile
a sweet memory
of that once chaste embrace.

Let us chase
the virus away
that nervous taste
must be erased.

Hard to believe
We were once so pure.

But, we’ll need to endure
amend the rules
set new trends
to keep our friends
old and new.

Because, a hug,
once so curative now exposes us, my dear.
And your touch and your breath
will rip us apart.

We have to reinvent our normal
keep ourselves alive to survive another day.
Cast off the old unhealthy ways,
Just imagine, in the future
what our descendants will say
Hugs, what’s that?

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