I surprised myself this fall by enrolling in a Project Management course. The original plan had been to attend a TESOL program, but admissions required my transcripts from Manila, as well as proof of my English language fluency (smirks). I couldn’t take the TOEFL test in time for fall registration and the only way to request my records is to be at the registrar in flesh. I could have attempted a long distance call to my alma mater but with the chaotic lockdown back home and me in belt-tightening mode, I said forget it. Still wanting to take advantage of extra time and tuition waivers from work, I looked for programs with lighter requirements and that’s how I ended up en route to becoming a PM. The course, delivered online, appealed to my practical, OCD tendencies. Someday, I hope, it will be useful.
So this blog, as well as other writing, was on the back burner the past weeks. But I heard back from a journal where I submitted poetry. Got the standard thank-you-but-it’s-not-right-for-us note, softened by please submit again. No bitterness from this prose writer who was punching above her weight. Why despair when I can post my poetry here?
It’s a weird salad of feelings, this poem. Gratitude and isolation. A feeling of being ensconced accompanied with anxiety. The first few times we had our groceries delivered, we traded greetings with the delivery person standing near the other end of the hallway, masks on. Talked about how quickly the world changed, wished each other well. Now, everyone has gotten tired or have gotten used to this. Delivery people, probably overworked, would rather snag another order than stop for a chat. Those of us at home are catching up on work or on hold with CRA for the past hour. We are all adapting.
The bags were left at our door.
Tray of eggs, chicken legs,
carton of milk,
cream of mushroom for lazy days,
lavender hand soap,
Soft on hands.
Thank you, called out
to the empty hallway.
No one stole a thing.
Check that everything is in order
Before washing your hands.