Self-isolation has made me sharper,

like the cactus we pass on our walk.

Every day the same sidewalks, the same pace,

as if we can outdistance the stress.

My husband is quiet as I snap at the toddler-

he knows why I’m sharp.

He can see the stress gnawing at the ends

of my rope.

Each day comes before I have time to prepare

for the nothing

that we’re doing

that somehow is more than we have ever done.

Is it the stress that makes the house messier,

the bedtime routine take longer?

Did we always have so many toys to tidy

at the end of the day?

We give up hope of a clean house because we are just too tired

from the nothing

that is everything.

 

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