Boxed In

July 13th, 2021

By: Nicole Cohen

these days, I’ve started
counting down the hours.
till what? till when?
I can’t quite say, but I
let my mind roam anyway.

I find solace in the memories
tucked away in my photo album-
there’s that day we went to the
city, looking for the cafe you
were dying to see in the flesh

how can I forget such freedom
that I never quite knew I had
until it was gone - no, the privilege
not just of escaping my confinement
but of having you too.

I know I’m not quite so alone
they say no other generation has ever been
so connected! so free to communicate
I should be grateful, no? for being trapped
now and not ten years ago

yet, I laugh at such thoughts
be grateful? grateful for what has happened,
grateful for these thoughts I cannot
suppress, grateful for the physical loneliness
that eats at my mental fortitude?

no, grateful for some rest perhaps. though no
rest seems to find me when I’m
left worrying - stillworrying - over why I
wasn’t enough, couldn’t be enough, to
help you stay grounded to earth

hell, I don’t know what grounds me
these days are a blur between
the numbers I see on the news and the
numbers I see falling in my grades
when I struggle to focus

I’m tired of looking at screens, always
at screens, and seeing you through
the screen for months on end. I wish
it didn’t have to be all that I have left
of you now and what you meant

nowhere to go
no one else to see...
what I wouldn’t give
for us to go back
to being you, and me.

About Piece

Many different topics came to mind as I was inspired to write this piece. With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many people have struggled with their mental health through the ongoing waves of restrictions and lockdowns. While there has been immense grief and loss as a direct result of the virus itself, there has also been a loss experienced due to other related reasons as well. This poem was written with the intention of highlighting some of these adverse effects - such as suicide and depression - that have followed, despite being in such a “connected digital age”. Support is more important than ever, so remember to check in not only on your loved ones but also remember to look after yourself and communicate your needs.