Domestic Poem (Day 2 Prompt 2)

by | Oct 18, 2020 | Dean Cleaning Two | 14 comments

Because we can’t know what comes next, I say,

the dandelions multiplied overnight,

but you mowed the lawn just yesterday,

or was it last Thursday?

The days are melting into one another.

I thought today was Friday but it’s Sunday.

I know because you cooked sausages for breakfast.

Today on our walk you say, what a lovely afternoon. 

It’s only 11:30 in the morning, I reply.

Surreptitiously, I lift my sleeve. 

My waterproof watch shows 2:30.


Because we can’t know what comes next, I say,

you were right and I was wrong. 

Something I never would admit before this virus.

It starts to rain so we turn around,

settle inside the kitchen. I stare at the dandelions.

You read the paper. Rain turns to mist turns to sunshine. 


Because we can’t know what comes next 

you plug in the lawnmower. 

Its bright orange cord cuts us in two,

me seated at the kitchen table,

you on our patch of green, headphones on

Palliser’s Can You Forgive Her.


Because you can’t know what comes next 

you leave The Times open to page 23.

I wait till the mower faces the shed,

turn the paper to page one.

If you ask me why I will say,

because I can’t know what comes next. 


  1. Gay Degani

    I love this poem so much. You have captured exactly how I feel in these trying times. So good. Send it out soon.

    • Roberta Beary

      Thank you, Gay! I finished it just in time for Ireland’s Second Lockdown, which starts tomorrow.

      • Roberta Beary

        Thanks, Paul. I feel I jinxed myself with this one because here we are again, on a more restrictive lockdown, starting tomorrow in Ireland.

  2. Tommy Dean

    This opening stanza perfectly portrays what it feels like in Covid-time! Nothing bombastic here, but steady details that help us feel this unmoored feeling!

    “Something I never would admit before this virus.” Great way to create a story event! I also love the way the dandelions work as a repeating/rhyming image!

    “Its bright orange cord cuts us in two,” oh, this is perfect! great use of this object!

    “because I can’t know what comes next. ” oh, love how this closes! Such a great new way to show a relationship!

    • Roberta Beary

      Tommy, thank you. This is the first poem I’ve posted in a workshop. Again, I do want to say how safe I feel here.

  3. Constance Malloy

    I second Gay’s response. Time fades, melds, rolls, contracts and expands all during this crazy time. Good luck if you do send it out. I’m sure it will find a home. And, I’m assuming you live in Ireland. Good luck with the Second Lockdown. The US might not like it, but we need to do something. I live in Wisconsin, which is quickly becoming the nation’s hotspot. Yikes. And, off to the store I go. Nice writing with you this weekend. And thanks for all your comments! Best, Constance

    • Roberta Beary

      Yes, I am in Ireland although I grew up in the States, I haven’t been able to visit family there since January.
      I hope we come across each other in another workshop. I’ll keep a lookout for your work. Thanks so much for your comments. They gave me the push I needed to do more.

  4. Christina Rosso-Schneider

    I love how you’ve framed this poem and the repetition. It works really well! I also agree with everyone else that this really speaks to me during this time.

  5. Didi Wood

    Roberta, this is wonderful! I love “Its bright orange cord cuts us in two,” and how that echoes other examples of division in the poem (right/wrong, morning/afternoon). The way you end with that refrain just takes the breath out of me. And those dandelions! Just beautiful. Best of luck in the lockdown … I’m fortunate to live in a state (Washington) with a governor who takes the pandemic seriously, but even here things continue to open and then people act as if the danger is over … 🙁

  6. Chelsea Stickle

    You had me nodding here, “The days are melting into one another. / I thought today was Friday but it’s Sunday.” Before I knew it was a virus poem. This weekend has flown by. I can’t believe it’s Sunday night. This poem is really accessible and relatable. There’s a lovely delicateness to it that I appreciate. So much seems like chaos that a moment like this one is really valuable.

    • Roberta Beary

      Ah, yes, I cannot keep track of anything these days. Thanks for reading and commenting Chelsea. It was great to be in the workshop with you and the rest of the participants.

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