Groundhog Day

My phone stays longer now

on the kitchen counter


I feed my baby 

raspberries from the garden

juice runs down my fingertip

like fresh blood from a small cut


we joke we live in the country now

it is so quiet


our neighbours have started 

a WhatsApp group trading

rhubarb and books and organise 

virtual sewing circles 

of medical-grade masks


we are cocooned 

in a three-block bubble of brick

and it is so quiet 

we joke we live in the country now


my friend three doors up

bakes enough sourdough for all of us

but my six-year-old cries when 

we are once again able to have visitors 


Instagram bombards me with posts 

about self-care during Covid

and discounts on designer jewellery


there are wisps of news 

about laws affecting our civil liberties

changed when no one is noticing


we have re-arranged the kitchen

cook slow soups 

filled with lentils and silverbeet


my iPhone usage is down

my iPhone tells me


it is so quiet now

the traffic on a Monday

feels like a Sunday  

or a Tuesday or a Saturday


I walk the back streets

check my phone for messages

post photos on Instagram

of small everyday things


cardboard boxes pile up 

in our driveway

relics of food deliveries


some have been made into robots

others have become damp in the rain

does Covid live on cardboard? 

none of us is sure


hand sanitiser is our new vernacular


my six-year-old is being ‘home schooled’

we are all learning Spanish


the kids leave presents for each other 

of brightly painted rocks 

hidden in spots along the creek


I do a Zoomba class three times a week

it’s as though I’ve got a personal trainer

like Khloé Kardashian


each day in the cul-de-sac

the kids have a ‘socially distant bike party’ 


es tan tranquilo ahora

nosotros bromeamos que vivimos en el campo


Lou Smith is a Melbourne-based poet of Welsh, Jamaican and English heritage who grew up in Newcastle, NSW. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications including Nine Muses Poetry, The Lifted Brow, Caribbean Quarterly, Mascara Literary Review, Wasafiri and sx Salon. Her first book of poetry riversalt was published by Flying Island Books in 2015. Lou has a PhD in Creative Writing from The University of Melbourne. She is currently working on her second book of poetry set in her hometown of Newcastle during the Great Depression. www.lousmith.net

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