(listen to the poem, read by the author)
the jigsaw puzzle has been chewed
rainbow unicorn now soggy
running low on milk and Red Bull
zucchinis freshly picked from the garden
paired with fish fingers, that’s dinner, right?
many Paws have Patrolled
many princesses enTangled and kiddo
dances to solely to Scissor Sisters
while sister’s scissors are an injury-risk
cleared, as crayons clatter to the floor
a standardised survey asks, is your
9-month-old baby unable to undertake
daily tasks due to COVID symptoms,
such as walking, cooking, working?
what is his usual occupation?
the sun shines warm, but kiddo insists
it’s too hot, too cold, that medicine is
tooooo yuckkkkyyyy mummy!
and will only be taken in exchange for
fourteen blueberries and a chocolate fish
the days are no longer dates, only numbers
counting down to the end of quarantine
embracing tears of exhaustion and relief
holding my germy, jolly children
sticky, restless, and gloriously alive
About the Author
Steph Amir is an emerging Australian writer with a background in public policy and research. Currently she is a Writers Victoria Writeability Fellow, a fellowship for writers with disabilities. Her creative work has been published in Archer, Babyteeth, Bent Street, Burrow, A Coup of Owls (forthcoming), Dollar Store, Echidna Tracks, Empty Room Studio (forthcoming), Ergi Press (forthcoming), Ghost Girls (forthcoming), n-Scribe, Phantom Kangaroo (forthcoming), Red Room Poetry (forthcoming), the Victorian Writer, Writing Place 21, and the Melbourne City of Literature’s wildlife postcard series. Steph lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her partner and two children.