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. 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.