There is no element of surprise,

No understudy to take your place,

Masks and eye protection have been ordered.

What warehouse has them hidden in its shadow?


We go in search of toilet paper because we need it,

We look for rice because we like to eat it at dinner,

We watch a scrimmage over the last carton of eggs,

Where are the bananas, the sweet potatoes?


My wife makes fry bread every evening—

We finally found flour and baking powder—

And she mixes them with wheat germ, a little oil,

Heated water and we let it fill itself under a towel.


Everyday, the dust mask is my blanket, my neckless,

Everyday a pair of glovers cover my hands,

Everyday I get a piece of fresh air, everyday

We stop looking at news, no longer read newspapers—


But there is a lot in the house to do:

Fix the two broken beams below the second floor,

Break out a few bricks with my new oscillator,

Discover a new place where a right angle drill fits perfect.


The dogs are in need of longer walks, careless people

passing our open porch cough and cough.

Late at night, again, we are awake talking

about nothing and everything. Two AM. Three AM.


The weather blossoms into lilies and marigolds,

a splash of blue and a rise in daffodils,

and, yes, I cut the lawn the other day

and, yes, I trimmed the great swamp of pampas grass.