’Twas the eve of ’21


‘Twas the night before New Year’s, and huddled inside
We reflected on things. 2020—What a ride!

With heartache and hope, it was a year of all years
With bright spots and dark ones, sprinkled with tears

It brought us together, all over the land
Hoping to get our dear country in hand

So many stepped up, each in their own way
Some risking their lives for a better new day.

The protests, the Tweets, the many donations
We honor all those who gave lives for our nation

The postcards, the phone banks, the insults and hang-ups
Small slights to endure by those folks who dialed up

Arizona! Nevada! Georgia! We cried
We prayed that the new day would really arrive

The spread of good news got everyone out
Dancing in streets, and from rooftops, the shouts

“Queens Man Evicted!” from the Queens Daily Eagle
No love lost from that borough, and most of its people

And all throughout COVID, we grieved those we’d lost
As seasons advanced, from blossoms to frost

Amid hunger and fires, evictions, and sadness, 
and hatred, fake news; oh, where was the gladness? 

Show after show, and meal after meal
We turned to our pets and each other to deal

In nature, volunteer work, in blogging and art
We each found our way to take part and take heart

On the darkest of days, shared snippets of wit
Some humor and grace came from those most hard hit

Wait, what’s going on? A surprise birthday Zoom?
Such small acts of kindness lit up the room

Bring on that vaccine. Can’t come soon enough!
Meanwhile, gotta house clean. How’d I get so much stuff?

Give away all those things; fill a need, share some fun.
2020, you tried us! And still, we’re not done

The new year is here, but the battles aren’t finished
Keep strong, stay alert and engaged, and stay in it

Can’t wait to see more from that Kamala Harris!
But when, oh when, will I get back to Paris? 

Some day. But for now, gotta love what you got. 
With these friends and family, that’s surely a lot.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that human affection
Endures through pandemics and weak Wi-Fi connections

So take care, stay well, and do what you do
And soon, when it’s safe, I can’t wait to see you!

Sarah Bayliss (@shbayliss) has lived in Park Slope for 18 years.