Letter to America by Naomi Cohn

One Poem

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Into The Fire—

Looking out at cold, virus-emptied streets
I’m warmed by that future bonfire—
Strangers, pressed shoulder
to shoulder,
laughing and singing,
mouths fearlessly agape
as we squirt jets
of hand sanitizer into the burning
oak and ash, sending a green roar
of flame into a star-spangled sky.
Into the fire,
we toss it all—
masks, pandemic diaries,
jigsaw puzzles, sourdough starter,
that last goodbye mumbled over Zoom—




Naomi CohnNaomi Cohn lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is a poet and teaching artist who—COVID-permitting—works with older adults and other people living with disabilities. Her writing has appeared in Baltimore Review, Fourth River, Hippocampus, Nimrod, and Poetry, among other places. Her collection of linked prose poems, The Braille Encyclopedia, is forthcoming from Rose Metal Press.

Read Naomi Cohn’s essay “In Light of a White Cane” also appearing in Terrain.org.

Header photo by Volodya Senkiv, courtesy Shutterstock.


Terrain.org is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.