In a tiny village in Uganda, twelve-year-old Sena
leans closer to the static-ridden radio, listening
to her biology class on the government channel.
Her school is in total shut-down due to the coronavirus.
In a small town in Kentucky, twelve-year-old Adaline
sits at the dining room table, I-pad in front of her,
participating in a zoom biology class led by her teacher.
Her school is providing online learning during the pandemic.
Sena’s family can only afford to send one child to the local
school since her father’s fishing boat was destroyed in a storm.
She finds it hard to concentrate as her four boisterous
siblings run in and out of the tiny room, squealing and crying.
Adaline’s younger brother and sister tune in to classes
in their rooms, on their individual devices, supervised by
their dad, who is home, training remotely for a new position.
He was laid off five months ago from his job of twenty years.
Sena is expected to help with household chores and her siblings
while her mother mixes dirt and water to repair the walls
of their small hut, also damaged by the recent storm. She worries
there will be no money for Sena to return to school when it re-opens.
Adaline’s mom has become the primary bread-winner since
her husband’s lay-off. She is concerned her salary won’t be enough
to pay the mortgage and keep food on the table, but is determined
to shield her children from concerns about family finances.
Both mothers wonder about their children’s futures.
Both fathers hope they will be able to support their families.
We are all different, each facing obstacles in this changing world,
but beneath the surface differences,
we are all the same.
SHARON CANFIELD DORSEY is an award-winning poet and author of four children’s books; a memoir, Daughter of the Mountains; a book of poetry, Tapestry; and a travel memoir, Road Trip. Her books are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, High Tide Publications and the author. WATCH FOR A NEW POETRY BOOK, WALK WITH ME, OUT THIS SUMMER.