For a winter no longer winter, for Christmases of fake snow and open water. For the new droughts of Maine summers. For the masks. Stitched by fingers tender with needles in China, Bangladesh, Thailand, hours bent squinting; for the sewers in Maine, North Dakota, Colorado, California, at home or in a giant factory; for the maskmakers who fell ill, died of the virus. For those not wearing masks clinging to the idea that freedom means the freedom to endanger others. For the settler mentality. For the men who bought these lies of independence, while their bodies depend on the berries, the rain, the clouds, the layers of brick, the mothers birthing. For the person taking another drink, pill, bite, shot or drag trying to feel just a little bit better.

For all the ways we hurt each other but don’t mean to. For all those wounded by police. For all those police wounded. For those whose voices shouted, who burned cars, risked the ravages of the virus, arrest, and threats of being run over for our passionate call for an immediate end to police acts of brutality, lynching and the criminal injustice system directly traceable to slavery. For the wildly controversial call for Black lives to matter. For those devoured by loneliness in Camden’s nursing homes, not even allowed to leave their rooms. For the families living in a Rockport trailer park, struggling to make rent after the new owners jacked the price from $600 to $1,000 with 30 day’s notice, who, with one parent pandemic–laid off and the other working full-time, could barely afford Christmas toys for their children this year.

For those having desperate pandemic sex. For those subsisting on no touch at all, six feet of supermarket air their closest embrace. For the one in 1,000 people in this country dead of COVID-19; for the hundreds of thousands dead under the leadership of a heartless, mask-mocking megalomaniacal liar whose bigoted reality-tv-mob-boss fascism caused a country with 4% of the world’s population to suffer 20% — and counting — of the world’s COVID-19 deaths. For those still devoted, who will love him until their last breath.

Here’s to survival. Here’s to resilience, that obnoxious buzzword. Here’s to laughter. Here’s to spontaneous weeping. Here’s to finding ways to get the anger out carefully and with limited harm: yelling into a pillow, ripping up cardboard, gritting teeth tight. Here’s to not merely surviving by the tips of our broken fingernails. Here’s to the Rockland City Council, who, thanks to local activism, rejected further collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, that institution of wrenching infants from parents’ arms. Here’s to the health care workers who showed up daily risking their lives to save others. Here’s to the cashiers, the meat packers, the lab workers, the fruit pickers, the undocumented Latinx food deliverers in NYC, furiously peddling bikes to deliver food to those who could afford to stay in, who died by the hundreds. Here’s to the queer kids, more isolated than ever. Here’s to the wind, wild, whipping its tail through everything around us; we are always standing on shaky ground, fighting the turbulence. Here’s to taking one deep breath.

Here’s to those who died in 2020 because society refuses to decriminalize and provide safe options for drug use, whose criminalized drugs were cut with ever-deadlier fillers because of the pandemic. Here’s to the children, getting hurt or getting rest, hungry or well-fed. Here’s to those who left or are stuck with abusive partners, raped, assaulted, terrorized; may there be ways of healing. May we get through this.

Here’s to the moon, endlessly appearing from sliver to globe. Here’s to the ocean, pulling at our uteruses, laying out its seaweed, its tides drumming against the stone, its water swarming with tiny plastic travelers who journeyed from Irish recycling bins to Sears Island on the Maine coast. Here’s to the Mainers plucking each piece of plastic from the beach; here’s to the urgent reminder that we are still living our lives enmeshed in oil and its plastic offspring.

Here’s to the pandemic births, born from cell and ether, out of the body into the world. Here’s to the woods and the deer and the lobster and the pine trees and the sorrows and the losses and wishing we had never been born to have to endure these tragedies after tragedies. Here’s to the fragile skin of our most beloved. Here’s to the trauma that sticks, the gasping for air, the stamina we’ve conjured from nothing. Here’s to tending to the wounds of our losses. Here’s to the scientists who created the vaccines. Here’s to making it through this hellish year to the eventual other side. Here’s to daydreaming about those first spring bulbs breaking the surface of soil to join the sky. Here’s to you. Please hang in there.