The Poetry Shed

A Space for Writers
Shelter in Place

Ally O

Quarantine List:

  1. Waking up to the sound of my father yelling into the phone, not because he’s angry but
    because he has terrible hearing.
  2. Going back to sleep and waking up three hours later because my sleep schedule has
    fallen apart.
  3. Getting up and eating whatever’s left in the pantry, since we’ve all grown fearful of the
    grocery store.
  4. Listening to my mother talk on the phone with my aunt, the New York nurse, who’s in an
    apparent warzone.
  5. Trying to get work done, but realizing that it’s impossible to focus with the news on a
    constant loop in the background.
  6. Waiting by the phone to hear if relatives have made it out of the hospitals uninfected, or
    if another one has gone off to another hospital.
  7. Taking my dog on “walks” to the mailbox and feverishly washing my hands after touching
    the mail.
  8. Talking to my boyfriend on the phone, also from New York, trying to hide the panic in my
    voice.
  9. Trying to hide the sadness I feel knowing I realistically won’t be able to see him for
    another month.
  10. Eating, working out, showering, and attempting to fall asleep before 5 a.m. and failing
    because the room is filled with the quietness of solitude, leading back to number 2.
    If Quarantine didn’t exist list:
  11. Waking up to my regularly scheduled alarm to go to my regularly scheduled class.
  12. Showering at a scheduled time because I have somewhere to be.
  13. Getting ready and trying to make myself look presentable enough to be seen by the
    surrounding public.
  14. Eating a regular breakfast, the ingredients of which are fresh because they were
    purchased the day before from a grocery store filled with strangers I could make
    pleasant conversation with.
  15. Going to class, sitting less than a foot away from the student next to me, and listening to
    my professor lecture, only a foot away from me.
  16. Leaving class and driving with the windows down because it’s starting to feel warm
    again.
  17. Going to my boyfriend’s house in the middle of the day when the sun is still shining and
    we are standing zero feet apart.
  18. Watching him play xbox and bothering him every once in a while for a kiss.
  19. Talking on the phone with my mother because I haven’t seen her in a while and won’t
    see her until summer.
  20. Going to sleep late at night because I was with friends and the room was filled with
    laughter.