Merry Quarantine

The quarantine was stunning, Covid we could have done without.
A walk on the snow-covered beach the last outing 
before we took to our big old house full of windows — the outside world
just beyond the dimpled glass: great rolling heaves of mist, rain, the labored breath of a bus

We laid trays of coffee — “room service!” — at the first child’s door.
Two more sick: the house now kids’ majority rule!  I slipped behind the door of my office
but an hour of virtue is all you need to know it’s no fun.  
Why bother otherwise? 

How lucky the kitchen was stocked with tiny marshmallows and French chocolate
waiting in dishes for guests that would never come…
a list of movies, a fireplace with stacks of crackling logs
six-point crumpled Kleenex fluttering as paper snowflakes in an infinity of patterns
tables littered with bottles —- cough syrup, elderberry, zinc —
and cake vying for room with white test kits

We laughed into delirium when time was a stream of barely noted
notches in the inevitable: 
and talked of dreams, Rebbe Nachman, how to organize notebooks
not optimists but expecting each day would get better

New Year’s Eve was a muted affair; 
even if historic and global, we could say we did it in our pyjamas
in our own creaturely language
although we were still stuck in the indeterminacy

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