Make Believe

Mr. Rogers, what would you say to us now?A blue block print of a pair of laced-up sneakers, like Fred Rogers used to wear.
I miss your soft voice and slow smile.

Somehow you would remind us

of what it means to share a neighborhood,

how our breath travels farther than we think,
but so can our care.

You would’ve made the puppets wear tiny cloth masks,
had them ask all the questions children need to ask like

Why and How Long? and Can’t we…?

let Daniel Tiger feel sad and angry, itchy under the ear straps.

You would have explained it all patiently and truthfully:

No, we don’t know how long. 
Yes, it’s OK to feel afraid.
This is how we care for everyone right now.

Maybe the adults would have listened, too.

Originally published in Thimble Literary Magazine Newsletter No. 13; also published in The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection & Joy, edited by James Crews