Quarantine Blackout Poetry- Volume 3: A Father-Daughter Project

The Quarantine Blackout Poetry Project is a weekly project my 12 year old daughter and I work on together. It is my attempt to create “our thing.”


This week Haley and I present four new blackout poems–two by Haley and two by me.

The other day Haley said to me, “I miss school.” To make an emotionally revealing statement to me is a bit unusual. To me, she usually says things like, “You need to change the light bulb in my room,” or “You need to pick up some more ice cream.”

But this week, working on our poetry project she shared something emotionally telling.

To which I replied, “I totally miss you going to school.”

To which she presented me with an eye roll so shrill you could almost hear it.

In Haley’s poems, you’ll see they’re both themed on school. And for kids, like Haley, who love all aspects of school, hanging out with your unfunny dad and working on a poetry project with him must be no-ice-cream awful.

My poems are themed on time.

The Los Angeles Times recently published, Is time flying oddly quickly during COVID-19?, an article about our perceptions of time as quarantine continues. For some, working remotely while trying to teach their kids long division– time may seem to fly. We’re be busier than ever and quarantime passes quickly. For others, time may seem to stand still. That’s because, “The brain remembers the unusual.” And when there is nothing unusual like birthday parties or concerts or weddings or vacations or Klingon Fest (apparently this is a massive convention that celebrates the fictional species in the Star Trek universe) days are difficult to decipher from one another. There is nothing to distinguish Tuesday from Saturday. There is nothing emotionally stimulating to bookmark our days. And so quarantime seems to pass painfully slow.

The other day I went for a drive. It was midday. There were only a few cars on the road. The mall parking lot was a empty void of rolling blacktop. Store fronts sat quiet and dark and looked, well— sad. The car engine shifted and I felt an edginess in the afternoon air. I thought about how many people are at home, right now, maybe standing on their front step or maybe sitting on their couch, biting their lip, losing hope, feeling alone yet wondering the same thing the whole world is wondering– When is this going to be over?

Remain patient.

Keep hope.

And if you go to the store– stock up on ice cream.

Be well,

Jay and Haley

Haley’s poems:

First Day


My Poems:

Two Weeks


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