Ellen Reynard: Zoom To Enlightenment

On the computer screen, a gallery
of faces in little boxed versions
of living rooms or home offices.
You see your own image, and realize
you too are in a little box.

Someone speaks, and her box lights up
someone else coughs, and his box lights up.
This is confusing, you think to yourself,
inside your darkened box.

The host mutes everyone's microphones –
now the icon is crossed by a diagonal red line –
your boxes all dim and his alone lights up.
He tells you how and why
to mute and unmute yourselves.
Now you're even more confused.

The meeting begins, and you are supposed
to speak in turn to the subject at hand:
“The pros and cons of social distancing.”
You click the microphone icon to unmute,
clear your throat, and voilà – your box lights up.

With eyes closed and palms upturned, you sense
the luminescence, wait for divine inspiration,
and finally utter these wise words: “To social distance
or not to social distance, that is the question – "

You are now a guru on a mountaintop.
Those who wish to bathe in the radiance
of your reason must arise, break down
the walls of their confinement,
and lift their eyes skyward.

You open your eyes to the computer screen
and there they are, a gallery of faces
in little dark boxes. They are all frowning.
Apparently, they are not yet ready
for the enlightened path.

You click the red letters “Exit Meeting”
close your eyes, and return
to your mountain top.