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“Quarantine” by Bill Rettig


How could I have become comfortable

With just my computer and food?

It’s gone on so long I’ve gotten fat

And can hardly walk without pain.

I see no one and no one sees me.

I seldom change clothes or even shower.

I’m suddenly aware that I’ve begun to lose

My humanity.

What does it take to be human?

Isn’t interacting part of it?

Isn’t helping someone out?

I don’t even think about anyone else.

I don’t watch the news or read the paper.

I’m not (oh yes I am)

Scared to leave home.

I don’t know who scares me:

The police, the cars, the trucks,

bicyclists, pedestrians, or golfers

Doctors, ministers, women, or men.

It doesn’t matter because I will never,

Can’t possibly ever, see any of them again.

Since no one will read this, I can tell the truth,

I hear people who aren’t here talk to me.

My mom says Billy

My wife calls out Bill.

I hear them so clear and answer them

Without hesitation.

Without hesitation,

I call back What.

Sometimes the conversation extends

Past a few words

And I really believe they are here,

Like ghosts talking to me.

What does it mean to be stir crazy?

I’ll have to look it up on google,

I read,

There are many ways to die from the Coronavirus.

I’m here Mom.

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