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Sean Gross

Chokecherry Youth Response

Isolation wrecks us all from the inside
It’s slow but methodical
So methodical you fail to notice until it’s too late
The outside world is toxic
Everything we touch turns toxic and must be cleansed of it’s new found filth.
Every time we breathe or talk, the toxin spreads even further
We musn’t leave our enclosures in fear that we will become contaminated,
We musn’t touch or see one another in fear that we will contaminate those we love most.
The loneliness grows as a result.
It flourishes with wicked pedals and sickly vines,
Siphoning our life force with every day that passes.
Taking over our minds until it entraps us in those sickly vines
It’s roots grow and soon the feelings of togetherness become a distant memory.
A memory so distant we mistake it as fantasy.
We can see a light in the distance
A light so dim and dark it is almost unperceivable.
So we let it go,
And let the isolation consume us.

This poem is written in response to Ruth Cuthand’s Second Wave: COVID-19

About the project: Chokecherry Youth Response is a partnership project between Chokecherry Studios, Remai Modern and PAVED Arts. The project asked for submissions from youth-artist participants inspired by a single work in the exhibition, An apology, a pill, a ritual, a resistance. Ten emerging artists took on the challenge and got to work creating new pieces that respond to the exhibition’s multifaceted exploration of health and healing.