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Shut In: Poem #11

POEM #11


INTRODUCTION

Staying home during this pandemic has been a challenge, I muddled along most of today. Rescued in time when my best friend posted on social media about this year’s Pulitzer Prize Winner in Poetry, Jericho Brown. Reading some of his works has inspired my sleeping muse.

 

I have paired my own poem from today with a picture that is an antithesis to the feeling conveyed in the verses. I love this capture of my darling husband: our sailboat at one of its best performances slicing through the waters of the San Francisco Bay.

 

Sailboat Slicing Through the Waters of San Francisco Bay. ©James Sobredo

SHUT IN

 

Shut in. Not a permanent condition.

It's pandemic rooted. For how long; speculations

Vary. Shut in state. No longer unique

To elderly women fearful of leaving the house.

Shut-in stereotype. That’s out the window.

Eyes peering through the wide picture window

Of my bedroom as light from afternoon sun

Streams in. How else would a shut-in spend the time

Loafing in thought? Reclined in bed while

Betwixt and between states of mind—neither

Asleep nor fully awake. Eyes fixed through the window

At leaves swaying to soft breezes outside.

Not a comforting feeling watching the world go by,

Watching at safe distance those large, long,

Pointy leaves. Leaves from the Bird of Paradise.

Dark green mature leaves act as curtains protecting,

Hailing golden orange blooms imitating elegance.

Blooms stretched subtly, arrogantly from stems,

Sturdy and superior. Such certainty contrasts

The welling feebleness in my head symptomatic

To what happens when shut in. Potential hours

Of therapy piling up if ignored. This state of uncertainty

Is a downer. The option when outside is social

distancing. At markets, tape-drawn square geometric

Lines on the floor mark where one should stand.

It's line dancing at its utmost awkwardness.

Today, choices are few. Stay in. Ration edibles. Sleep.

Read. Worry. Dream. Write. Write as much or as little, 

It matters not. Idleness is neither sickness nor gift.

Perhaps a hybrid of both. Shut in, but not windowless.

Lethargic, but not lifeless. Movement constrained,

But the mind is free to wander. Imagination--a potent potion.

 


Poem ©Lu Sobredo

Photo ©James Sobredo

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 


About the Author 
Lu Sobredo is writer/publisher at Lu Travels Abroad, a blog dedicated to folks whose limitations do not hamper them from traveling. A year into early retirement her world collapsed from the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Her total life changed, but she did not let RA define her. With love from family, friends and an awesome doctor, she regained some functionality--her new normal. She will have RA all her life. And she now writes about life and travel with RA. During the pandemic of 2020, she stays put and writes poetry and a first novel, a travel of sorts but in the heart and mind.

 

 

  

 

  


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