A Prayer in the Time of the Pandemic

By Kasey Kaufman | January 28, 2021

During Covid, it’s been challenging, at times, for me to make art, to quiet my thoughts and stop doom-scrolling on Twitter. The practice of daily painting has helped. But what has brought me the most peace and inspiration are the long walks I take with my dog in the woods and hiking trails around New England. As an artist and writer, it allows me to see the world with more clarity, appreciation and delight. This poem, “A Prayer in the Time of the Pandemic,” as well as the painting Socially Distanced Birch Trees were inspired by the beautiful wildness of Houghton Garden, which happens to be around the corner from my home in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts


Underneath a lacy canopy
of dappled shade,
native ferns worship
next to dwarf conifers.

Devotion is easy here
among the azaleas and the evergreens.

This is a quiet place,
but for the birds
chattering in their pews.

branches to you, maybe
but for the herons and the hawks,
this is a cathedral

At an altar
carved from ancient alpine rock,
I recite my rosary.

The Latin names of plants;
Bentula Lenta
Ilex Dicidua.

Through my mask
I inhale the mossy incense.

The taste of huckleberry wine
on my tongue;
A prayer, in the time of the pandemic.


Kasey Kaufman, Socially Distanced Birch Trees, acrylic on canvas, 2019


Copyright © 2020 Kasey Kaufman
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  1. Paul Pedulla on January 28, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    Kasey, thank you for the artful pause in a challenging time.

    • Kasey on January 28, 2021 at 6:57 pm

      So very kind of you to say, Paul. Thank you!

  2. Joanna Smith on January 28, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    Lovely painting and poem, thanks for sharing ❤️

    • Kasey on January 28, 2021 at 6:59 pm

      Thanks so much!

  3. Kate Pingeon on January 28, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    This IS a prayer! It’s absolutely lovely, Kasey.

    • Kasey on January 31, 2021 at 10:34 pm

      Thank you, Kate!

  4. Ellen Bennett on January 31, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    So lovely, gentle, simple. Thank you for sharing your walk.

    • Kasey on February 3, 2021 at 7:59 pm

      Thank you so much, Ellen.

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