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  • Writer's pictureAllison Winters

On the topic of quarantine—

Allison shares poetry about quarantine way back in the early days of the pandemic.

I find myself haphazardly measuring the days of the week

By the amount of Dr. Peppers I've drank.

I wake up each morning and see the same wrinkled shorts

I wore the day before, and they bring me no joy.

My hair sticks up in places I didn't imagine possible from

Another restless night of sleep, because all I did was aimlessly

Scroll through social media until 3 a.m.

Every once in a while we congregate on a video call,

Pixelated smiles from desolate locations.

And through the faulty internet connection, I try

To find a way to ask you about your day before

The screen lags again and you get frustrated and leave

I look forward to the fluctuations in the weather;

Each glance out the window I hope for rain, wind, or

A force of nature to put on a show for me. I find solace in the sunset.

The people around the neighborhood are the only fresh, real faces I see

As the dog's leash entangles my feet in its zig-zagged path.

The small intimacies we shared months ago feel so foreign.

To be able to brush shoulders with another student on campus,

To open doors without hesitation,

To sit gleefully at a restaurant with family members,

To take photos of one another from less than six feet apart.

I believed them when they said this wouldn't last forever,

But now I am unsure. And though I have grown from the pain

Of being isolated, I am numb to the idea of this constant state

Of being with just yourself

When the laptop is turned off, it's just you.

And as I've done my share of posting, scrolling, liking, tweeting,

I am dying for interaction beyond screens once again.

To be seated by another in a movie theater, or to hold hands

As you skip down the "beach" at the lake with your best friend.

Those snapshots of life were under-appreciated then.

I hold myself together with pieces of Scotch tape

And sticky notes that remind me what I still have left to do.

The headaches come and go, while my hands cramp from holding

a Nintendo Switch controller for too long.

Motivation only finds me when I silence the doubts in my head,

If only it would find me sooner.

But on the topic of quarantine,

I didn't think we'd be here right now.

Things started to look better, I think,

Each day is still just as hard as the next.

I'll try not to overthink the new acne on my face

Or the irreversible bags under my eyes.

I'll consider writing this down so I know that

I did something today.

It wasn't a lot, but it was something.

And sometimes that's all you can do.


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