Pandemic Poem #12

I tend to get caught up in routine, to think “oh, I ‘d like to, ” and “oh, I want to, ” and to buy things I love–shirts, skirts, shoes–and then not wear them, waiting for “someday,” some “right occasion, ” or “when I get the chance, ” or “when I have the time” . . . You get the picture. I ‘d tell myself I would do/buy/wear/say/be the thing “someday” (and you know how that goes. . !) So, one thing I have been trying to do during shelter-in-place, in addition to my job, which I am fortunate to be able to do from home, is also to take time each day to just do something that I want to do but have put off until “someday when I have time,” to pull out and wear and use the “saving for someday” things, because “Someday” won’t come until I let it. An important lesson!

(Reading tip: if you are reading this on your phone screen, turning the screen sideways will result in a correct placement of each line; otherwise, they are broken up in unusual and not especially poetic fashion.)


Maybe Someday Could Become Everyday Today

Up at dawn for a three-mile walk
At the computer by eight for an Irish language lesson
Sporting the “Expecto Patronum” t-shirt
I bought last year and never wore,
Waiting for the right occasion.

Why do we wait for a crisis to do the things
We want to do, to strive to be the person
We want to be, to wear and do all the things
We said we’d wear and do, to enjoy what
We’ve saved and set aside for someday?

Maybe one lesson to walk away with
When the pandemic eases, is to live on,
Live on, living the life we found
While sheltering in place to preserve
The one we’re leaving behind us.


(Originally written 3/31/2020)


I invite those who are also writing creatively in response to the pandemic to share their words in the comments below. I am sharing the “poem-a-day” on Instagram and Twitter, as well; follow me @mridleyelmes !



About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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