I wrote these poems in the hope and belief that many people would relate to these same feelings. Although many of these feelings are bleak, the fact that we all share them brings me comfort and happiness in community. We are together in this isolation, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
A Busy Mind is a Clear Mind
I have so much work to be done,
But my thoughts are on the run.
How can I focus,
While feeling so hopeless.
Study groups are long gone,
But I must continue on.
I’d rather think about sine graph bends,
Than how much I miss my friends.
Daydreaming used to cause procrastination
But now it’s just causation for frustration.
So I’d rather put my head down and wonder
About the behaviors of hunters
and gatherers, than let my mind wander
And land on what it was like when I was younger,
When time to do everything I wanted was unfound,
Not the other way around,
But now everything has turned upside-down.
Necessities become Activities
Mom, Can I cook tonight?
Or at least help?
Or just set the table?
Or even sit here and watch you cook?
You cooked last night, dear.
Wouldn’t you like to take a break?
Cooking is such a chore.
At least it makes me feel something,
The warmth of the oven,
The heat of the stove.
At least it makes me smell something,
The garlic becoming fragrant,
The tomato sauce, sweet with time.
At least it makes me hear something,
The sizzle of chicken placed in a hot pan.
The boiling water waiting for pasta to be tossed in.
At least it gives me something to do
That isn’t staring at a screen.
Have at it.
I will clean up after dinner.
Could I do that too, please?
So Close, So Far
Plants are beautiful,
Green and fruitful.
But plants are not people.
They cannot carry a meaningful conversation
With someone who misses human interaction
Outside of her house.
A shout comes from somewhere in the vicinity,
A young girl calling her dog.
I’m sure this child has lived here for years,
And I never had the urge to have any relationship with her.
But now, with my circle of acquaintances so small,
I wish she would come over and say,
Hi! This is my dog, Charlie.
In the squeaky voice of toddlers
that used to pierce my ears,
But now would sound like music.
But I’m stuck here with my plants,
One Life, Two Life
“Dinner!” My mom shouts from the kitchen,
Something aromatic, maybe onions?
Has wafted into my room through the vents.
My stomach growls,
But I yell, “One minute!”
From my den of imagination.
The food can wait,
But I must know if Harry, Ron, and Hermione,
Are going to escape the giant troll in the Dungeon.
The chapter ends, and I run out to the waiting warm pot of soup
In my own house, not Hogwarts.
My dad greets me, “How was school?”
And I tell him about my own adventures,
Evading scary recess ladies on the playground.
But now, when he asks me this,
I look up from my book,
And mutter, “Fine,”
I scour my thoughts for any anecdote about my
But I cannot think of any.
So I return to the story,
An escape from my now dull existence.
I used to have two lives,
And now it seems I have only one.
Freedom Becomes Monotony
My mom never listened to music
When we went to run
Saturday mornings at Chambers Bay.
She liked to people-watch instead.
I preferred pushing play,
On a podcast, or new playlist.
Breathing in the fresh air.
We were never bored,
Free to do whatever we wanted,
Run wherever we pleased.
“I’m getting on the treadmill at four.”
I now inform my mom,
So we won’t run into each other on the
Thin, short, track that spins around and around
And around again.
What used to make me feel so free,
Makes me feel so confined.
Did you know,
That treadmills were invented to be
A punishment for prisoners?
It’s All Just Stimulation
What is the point of all these news stories
Recounting the same stories
Over and over again?
There is no new information,
And yet people are glued to their televisions.
As if there is going to be some new
Life-changing tidbit of change
If they miss just a second.
I’ll just put on my headphones
Drown the world out.
Scroll endlessly on one app
Until I get bored.
And decide to switch to another.
My screen time is so high,
Maybe I should take a break,
And go outside.
But it is simply so entertaining,
I can’t put it down.
Maybe this isn’t so bad.
I got to make cookies.
It was so relaxing.
Today I was bored.
I can only make so many cookies.
My mom says we need to save flour anyways,
The grocery stores are bare.
The littlest things make me light up.
I got to go outside on a walk with my mom.
Maybe I will learn to appreciate the small stuff.
The house is not big enough
For my whole family.
We argue and yell.
We all just want some space
But a house only has so many rooms.
I’ve been thinking for ages
But I cannot recall a single thing
That happened today.
Can you hear me?
This seems endless.
I wish I could be
Anywhere but here.