Walking Around the House During Quarantine by Bethany Chez

Walking Around the House During Quarantine

Did everyone notice we have a new family member,
my mom announces, referring to the sourdough starter
that she’s plopped on the buffet neighboring my dust-collecting
alligator keychain ornament. They recommend giving it a name…
Which I am sure the wooden pig with glass eyes upon the mantle
feels smug about, given he has no name and will never be eaten.
His tail and left hind leg were glued on long ago: a shattering
no one remembers anymore, so he relaxes high above us.
Less relaxed are the two finches in the stained glass in the window.
As long as I can remember I have heard these birds speaking
to each other about the bird house they’re sitting in front of.
They face each other: Is this it? We’re living here? I’m not sure.
And the other finch says: Yes, trust me, this is good.
The house is not exactly proportional to fit the finches
so their concerns are fair. Perhaps the confident finch
has spent too much time speaking with the Russian Nesting Doll
on the book shelf, who is not at all interested in space
or socializing: keep inside, keep close, keep safe, she repeats,
over and over again as her love materializes
in all seventeen babies each one insulated and accounted for,
their ornate paint as fresh and bright as the day they were made.


Bethany Chez is a poet living near Philadelphia. She received her M.S.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania and studied creative writing at Allegheny College.