Lillian-Yvonne Betram

It’s been a time.

The people you love, leave you.

This is a feature of the person, not the pandemic.

I check in with my parents but not enough.

What is there to say: every day is the same, but worse.

They don’t know what it’s like to have been alone this long.

The comforts are real but few. My two cats, alive.

At work there are task forces and I am on them.

We are charged with making recommendations that no one will hear.

We schedule times to talk and then talk about how much more talking needs to be done and when to schedule the time to do the talking.

Today I let an ant inside.

I’ve got questions too.

Remember when the only thing people wanted was gold? Me neither.

What if aliens already came to this planet a long time ago, hung out, and left without meeting anyone—wouldn’t that be a shame?

All this time to wonder

—am I failing at the pandemic productivity matrix?

I am not devouring books, writing, or crafting.

I’ll never finish the pandemic puzzle I started.

I want to throw away all these masks.

Like metaphor I don’t trust hope anymore.

Look around and see the explosive tendencies.

In the early days I was constantly checking my temperature.

Now I check for the hour of sunset, for when I can call the day a done day and put it


“When this is over” I want to go anywhere.

I want to visit everyone I know.

The air is sticky. Outside, someone is shouting come on come on.

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