Pat Draper

A Time Like This

I never want to forget
those twenty-six hours you last came home-

The soft knock on my bedroom door
at five in the morning,
jumping on my bed
sprawled across the foot
telling stories of Baghdad and beyond,
as I sipped coffee.

The clock stood still.

Social-distancing, be damned-
you’re my sugar-bear, my youngest.
Even at thirty-two, these hugs
can’t wait another three months
until I see you again-

I’ll always take my chances with you

as we climb into the rental Mustang
revving the engine, ready for a spin.

Pat won second place and a prize of $200, and graciously donated $100 back to the foundation. She is featured in our first official book publication, In the Quarantined Room: Reflections on the COVID-19 Experience in Indian River County, FL 2020. To find out more about the book and to purchase a copy, click here.

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