Stuck at Home/Homecoming: A Poem for the Coronavirus Lockdown

This lockdown has got me—like most of the rest of us—spending way more time at home than I’d ever planned for this year. While it’s been incredibly frustrating both being cooped up indoors all day and having to adapt to working from home where conditions are less than ideal, it’s been a good time to remember the good sides to being home.

In my schooling years, I’d spend most of my evenings at home after school, unlike now, where I’d reach home after dinner time. Back then, I’d always watch the sunset at the corridor outside my apartment. During this quarantine period, I feel like these slow evenings are truly a gift in this sense; they’re the one time in the entire day where I get to watch the earth sigh, expand, dilate and still over this spectacle so wonderfully at hand. During the first week of the lockdown, I wrote this poem about the golden hour and about noticing the extraordinary in the everyday, titled “Stuck at Home/Homecoming”. I hope it uplifts you during this difficult period and encourages you to seek positive moments, illuminated, lush and golden.

Stuck at Home/Homecoming

It’s been such a long time
since I’ve spent
sunset hour
looking over the railing outside
my apartment.
So long since I’ve been confined to
this grey-floored corridor
bracketed by families and their lives—
that I’ve forgotten
how it feels—
like an expectant audience
in a darkening theatre
waiting for night to take center stage
—breaths held,
the blue velvet of its daytime curtains
rustling, for just a moment,
then dissolving—
as its symphony unfolds
stately, not in a hurry:

I remember now:
the way the air slows, and sighs
bathed in its golden hue
—the way the skies unfurl
stretched lazily, indulgently
over the landscape
dotted
with pinpricks of colourful light
green, red and yellow blinking in
and out of time
—the streets, now slow, cautious—
humming, like an extended musical note

far below: a woman in green, walking, as if
in slow-motion, in the sleepy glow
of a streetlamp
just recently roused from its daytime slumber

So long since I’ve listened to the sonnet
in the washes of colour, the furred edge of
a quickly-greying cloud, the sides of buildings
briefly lit

the earth must now sigh—
its inhabitants now forced to slow down:
learning a different rhythm
learning to waltz, instead of run

how many people everywhere,
are watching this same unfolding,
this dissolution and unraveling
of teeter-totter lifestyles
into real brick and stone,
to build the new and the forgotten
much stronger and surer
after tragedy and uncertainty

We are just now beginning to look up;
eyes lifted
to a sky awash with music
that’s always been in the background—
the melodies
to our homecoming.

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