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Issue 04

When This Is Over

Fiona Stewart

Fiona Stewart is a writer, performer and creative consultant. (

When this is over, we say brightly,

We can return to how things were

Pick up where we left off

Get back to normal


These days I wonder

Can we?

Will we?

For we will not be the same,

You and I,

When once more we meet, face to face,

And tentatively begin again.

Each passing day reminds us

That this break is not a halt,

But a narrower path



        there is

        no room

        to turn around

                    And no going back 

                    to normal.

When we meet again we will not

Pick up where we left off

Because anything dropped

                    Is now lost,

Left behind in that other country.

When we meet

There will be wounds to tend

And stories to tell

Of what has passed.

There will be deeper silences

in which to dwell,

As looking back to that narrower path,

We at last see clearly

That we have emerged

into sunnier meadows.

Because one day the path will widen

So we can stand side by side.

Shoulders touching

We will pause to embrace,

Abiding in silent appreciation

Of where we find ourselves,

Watching the clouds together

And breathing deeply again.

Gustave de Smet, Woman at the Window by Jean Louis Mazieres licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0