By Zahir K. Dhalla, Spring 2020, Toronto.
Hollywood’s beach was one of the first ones to be closed in Florida, even as March breakers continued to cavort on Gulf-side beaches. It was enforced by heavy police presence 24/7, all along the 2.5-mile-long Broadwalk (not a typo, as indeed the ‘boardwalk’ is broad, with separate lanes for half a dozen pedestrians abreast and for two cyclists). One day it was packed with thousands and thousands, next it was a ghost beach.
At the beginning of Spring, Yasmin and I drove away from Hollywood Beach, heading north, to Canada, in our Jeep. Along the way, we pleasantly found people were courteous. For example, at fast foods where it was only take-out, the servers were smiling and cheerful, a good balm to all the fear of infection.
McDonald’s being takeout, it was picnic on our Jeep bonnet, but it was okay: It was 30°C in Stuart FL.
In remembrance of this journey, I wrote a lyric ghazal:
Ghazal: I’ll Remember
Dedicated to frontline workers, and All others playing their important roles!
At Hollywood Beach, to laze, I’ll remember,
Then came Corona, to raze, I’ll remember…………..1
Driving thro’ many states, in our Jeep,
We crossed Niagara, in a daze, I’ll remember….…..2
Quarantine time, o’er a fortnight ‘twas,
But safe in our empty house, I’ll remember………..3
Alone, Zahir? Nah! Had cyber company,
Chatting, getting by, with friends, I’ll remember…4
Stay safe, all. By the blessings of Mowla, we will overcome this. Ameen.