Shelter In Place

The red eye of conduction
turns off and on and I
am incandescent with
irritation: the eggs will
not boil.

My lover pours a pot,
and the milk has turned
in the night, wrapping
protein chains and fat
into monsters: this coffee
is awful.

Although my skin is forty-nine,
it is quarrelsome as a teenager –
a fight, a door slammed,
and I’ve itchy spots
to hide.

I bore my back to aching
to plant my trays of seeds –
the shiso has done nothing,
and the cat ate my salad weeds.
I’m irritated with everything,
my anger cracking through the
sidewalks we move around each other
the silence of masked sirens
and guarded stimulus checks.
I’ll plant the native flowers next,
for the bees,
it is all for the bees.

Na/GloPoWriMo Day Eight asks us to be inspired by someone else’s line of poetry, and suggests some Twitter bots to get us started: Ruefle, Shelley, Silkson, Carson, Plath – even the Vogons and their terribly bad poetry has gifts to give.

Plath has always stymied me. Such blazing images and scathing metaphors – she is so cuttingly brilliant that I read her only in bits and pieces. A random line or three, every hour? Oh, yes, @SylviaPlathBot, oh yes. She feels right for this time of mixed isolation and enforced companionship of the select few that we happened to be with when the shelter at home orders came through – the love, the anger – and grief and wonder, and creeping horrific hope that we may yet emerge to something we do not yet recognize. As Sylvia said, This is the time of hanging on for the bees–the bees.

6 thoughts on “Shelter In Place

  1. You seemed to channel some Plath within your own words. I felt the frustration, the trepidation of dancing around foul moods… lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I especially love the first stanza and “turns off and on and I” (without a comma, so that the speaker seems to be one with the cranky stove – also reinforced by the I/eye play). Such a neat division of words into lines. The whole thing is really rich-sounding.

    Liked by 1 person

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