Zoom Hour

by M.J. Iuppa

Sitting in the discomfort of being here, I know you are listening

and not listening; I know you have things on your mind. I know

you are looking at your keyboard, doing two things at once; wishing

the cat would jump up on your lap, or the dog begging to have its

head scratched, or your 8-year-old, who has been quiet all morning,

pleading outside your workroom for a cheese & mustard sandwich

on soft white bread, without crusts, and cut into triangles & served

on the red plate that says: This Is Your Day.

                                        And, you will shout as we read your lips:

 Wait, I am trying to do something. Give me a minute.

I know you’re listening for the reassuring sound of your child’s full

body thud just outside your door, and those tiny nails (you really

should clip those nails), dragging against the hardwood floor, in

that slow, deep scratch that takes your breath & proves that I know

you are listening and not listening; I can see your eyes close, even

as I am talking, and I am grateful that you showed up today. I know

you know time is precious. You don’t need to hear it.

                                       Refresh— start, again.

M.J. Iuppa’s fourth poetry collection is This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017). For the past 32 years, she has lived on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Check out her blog for her musings on writing, sustainability & life’s stew. Varada J.M is a 9th-grader based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, studying at Rani Public School, Vadakara. After hurriedly doing homework, Varada divides her time between practicing classical dance and watching horror films. She loves dogs but nobody at home wants one.    

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