Three Poems In Quarantine



Oh My Darlin’ Quarantine 

This morning I punched my shirt

I sleep in two long-sleeve tee shirts

I’m old and chill easy

The inside cotton seems to have forgotten

How to slide out of the other


I’m late and need to hurry

No time for gentle unwinding

Let’s go fella I mumble to the inside shirt

Come outta there now

If you fight me I’ll yank your arms off


The harder I yank

The tighter they knot

The blue and the white get married

They ignore my plucking

It’s getting later and the clock is gaining


The nice talk is gone

I fling the fabrics on the bed

I’m kneeling with a fist

Now I’m really pissed

You fucker take that


I punch the shirts in the heart

I pick the knot open

Unwind the gnarled cottons

They are finally free

And spread open


I like them again

We are still good friends

I trot them down the spiral stairs

I lift the lid and add suds to their pool

Now they can dance politely


©2020 Gary Gladstone


Senior Stealth Mission 

I rise in the blackness of 3:45 am

And turn all the lights on

Race through my morning routine

Take pills and brush my teeth

Shower then towel and blow-dry my body


I dress with urgent focus

Stuff a mask and cold gloves in my pocket

I make a half-cup of coffee

Yank on my parka and

Dash for my car in the chilled darkness


I’ll drive18 miles with headlights

To the Walmart parking lot

To be first in the line by six a.m.

I glove-up and grab a deserted cart

And find a leaning place to wait at the start


It’s two minutes to six

The long line behind me is shivering

Security turns the lock

I move a foot from my spot

I’m a Ninja shopper


The door opens with a twist of a uniformed wrist

I open my phone to start my list

And sniff a puff of warm merchandise air

And roll the cart to the soups aisle where

I pick six cans of Chicken Sausage Gumbo


I can’t waste time trying to rhyme with Gumbo

So I circle the store tossing goods in the cart

And check myself out in the self-checkout zone

I toss the bags into my car and peel my Ninja outfit

Now I’m packing my freezer a proud Ninja geezer sipping hot coffee

At home


©2020 Gary Gladstone


Talking To The Daffies 

Six weeks confined alone

The self I have has withered and

Allows me to scream or sing my thoughts aloud

I have befriended my two beds of daffodils

Abrupt, cheerful, handsome daffodils are my friends

We have become family


I wave at them and proudly point my finger

To count out loud and congratulate the family

On the newest opened blossoms

A backyard miracle of birth

“Glad to see you fellows

Keep bringing home the yellows”


The President chases love

By declaring victory over continuing death

Chronic, ironic, colonic, bubonic

“Kill the motherfucker now!”

Screams a voice offstage

I discover the screamer and he is me


©2020 Gary Gladstone

2 thoughts on “Three Poems In Quarantine”

  1. These three poems read as well in print as they did in the workshop, Gary. They capture the angst of our times when we’re all “taking to the daffies.” “Chronic, ironic, colonic, bubonic,” indeed. Well done.

  2. Gary, you paint such a thoughtful, vivid picture with welcome humor and honesty- as is your style.
    Wonderful. And yes, please, “keep bringing home the yellows”!

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