sixteen / quarantine

  
  
I told myself I’d read a book today
Just for something to do
I didn’t get beyond the fifteenth page
My attention span is shortening, too
Just like my temper
Cause I’m in a rage
Social distancing is trying my patience
I just realized that I’ll come of age
Another casualty of isolation

Glacial time passing, I call people asking
“How’s life in quarantine?”
Oh, it’s selfish to say this
But I can’t contain it:
I’m ticked off at COVID-19

Cause

This social withdrawal is getting to me
My lifestyle is increasingly
Lonely, depressing, and sedentary
In quarantine (teen, teen)
In quarantine
Unprecedented new reality
Confined to my house and my laptop screen
I can’t believe that I’m turning sixteen
In quarantine (teen, teen)
In quarantine

Suspended silence over everything
I ride my bike through a suburban ghost town
Caution tape around the kiddie swings
Empty parking lots and malls shut down
Essential grocery shopping’s getting rough
Cause all the stores have left is gluten free chex mix
Shelter-in-place orders kinda suck
For those of us who don’t have Doordash or Netflix

Updates from teachers, assume we have even more
Time in quarantine (they aren’t wrong)
As I drown in assignments, there’s one silver lining
At least I’m not taking APs

Still

This social withdrawal is getting to me
My lifestyle is increasingly
Lonely, depressing, and sedentary
In quarantine (teen, teen)
In quarantine
Unprecedented new reality
Confined to my house and my laptop screen
I can’t believe that I’m turning sixteen
In quarantine (teen, teen)
In quarantine

I should turn my pessimism on its head
Show some gratitude
Channel frustration into art instead
To my friends, boy, I’m so grateful for you
It may be tedious to wash your hands
But the whole world’s in this madness together
Sure it’s cheesy, but I understand
There’s no calamity that we can’t weather

Social withdrawal, paradoxically
Could bring us together in community
A weird kind of bonding opportunity
In quarantine (teen, teen)
In quarantine
I’ll lean on you, and you can lean on me
Of course, this is all happening virtually
We’ll still comply with the mandatory
State quarantine
Don’t make a scene
COVID-19
I’m just sixteen
Sixteen in quarantine

ABIGAIL MILNE is a poet, musician, thespian, and a sophomore in high school in San Mateo County. She composes her own songs and plays the ukelele in her free time.

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