Pandemic Lullaby/ Sara Lynne Puotinen

On March 11th, just as the COVID-19 was hitting Minnesota–5 confirmed cases at that point–I decided to re-memorize a poem that had helped me when I was injured and couldn’t run 2 years ago: Auto-lullaby. For the rest of the month, sometimes during my runs, sometimes when I felt overwhelmed by the pandemic, I recited it to myself. “Think of a sheep/knitting a sweater;/ think of your life/ getting better and better.” Feeling restless one night in the beginning of April, I began composing my own version of a lullaby in my head. My lullaby is filled with moments of delight and joy experienced in the midst of this month’s horrors.

Think of a sheep 
reciting a poem;
Think of a tree stump 
housing a gnome.

Think of your dog
asleep in a chair;
Think of that time 
when you cut your own hair.

Think of a bird 
that sings in your ear;
Try to resist
suffocating from fear.

Think of a cyclops on 
a garage door;
Think of a run, and
count to four.

If you are anxious, then
take a deep breath. 
The outcome most likely
is sickness not death.