Making Dinner During the Pandemic

Alternate Title: “The Lucky Ones”

I ordered a pizza
Because I was too tired to cook
From working at home
From being home all day.

They cancelled the order
Because there were not enough drivers
And I can’t even be mad
Because there’s a fucking pandemic.

Because we have leftover pasta
That I’m not excited about
But will be just fine,
And meatballs made with crushed up Cheerios
Instead of breadcrumbs.

Because I’d already started making them
When I realized we were out,
And breadcrumbs
Are not essential enough
To justify a trip to the store.

I heat up the pasta
Because I am just too tired.
Because my child
Colored on the walls
While I was on a video call.

Because I cried three times today,
Or started to,
Then stopped,
Because there’s a fucking pandemic,
People are dying,
And we are the lucky ones.

I open the refrigerator
And a quarter-gallon of milk
Mocks me,
Reminding me
That I’ll have to venture
Out into the infected world again soon,

That I’ll have to don my mask and gloves,
Call the only friend I allow myself to see
To stay with my child
So I don’t have to take them with me.

I made fun of a woman once
For wearing gloves to grocery shop
When I was sixteen scanning groceries.

The sixteen-year-old
Sanitizing shopping carts last week
Should be finding a reason
To make fun of me,
Not choosing
Between shallow wartime valor
And poverty.

We sit down to eat
And words spill out of me
As I begin to write,
My child picks up a piece of chalk
And begins to color on the wall
But how can I be mad
When there’s a fucking pandemic?
When people are dying?
When we are the lucky ones?

Usually,
I tell someone at least once a week
“There is no hierarchy of suffering.”

We are the lucky ones.
We are still suffering.

And I am so tired.

One response to “Making Dinner During the Pandemic”

  1. […] was the week that things began getting very serious and remote work and school started to become our new normal. We ended up staying for nearly eight weeks, which meant that I got to be in my hometown for my […]

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