In Lockdown

by Hilary King


We do have luxuries. Our worries remain plentiful.

I take to naps like an addict. I sneak them, I need them, I lie about them.

We take long walks around ourselves. When our masks slip, we put them back on.

I acquire a cantaloupe and let it sit on the counter. When I can wait no longer, I open the hard brown wrapping with a knife. Inside it’s Christmas, sunset-colored sweetness, tiny seeds scattered like wrapping.

Evenings my husband and I sit in the backyard, drinking wine and passing uncertainties back and forth. Will this happen? This? This?

One morning at the end of one strange month, I write out a calendar for the next. I smooth the paper, then hold my pen still, leaving the squares empty as windows.



Hilary King lives in California with her husband, two children, one cat, one dog, and many masks. She writes poetry as a way of witnessing, as an aid to memory, as a way to explore the mystery of human beings and being human. Her poems have appeared in Fourth River, Belletrist, PANK, Blue Fifth Review, Cortland Review, Mom Egg Review, and other publications. She is the author of the book of poems, The Maid’s Car. Stella Bellow is an illustrator currently attending Parsons School of Design in New York City.

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