A POETIC RESPONSE – “Home Work is Homework” by Craig O’Flaherty | Day 13

home work is homework

being home has become real homework.
the big problem is these words have
fused, leaving me less real time
than in that previous life i once had.
i now work through all those extra hours
used to travel to and from the office.
i’ve had to put my car on blocks –
unsure, when this lockdown will end,
and when I’ll use it again.

to pick where to work from each day
has become a procrastinator’s dream:
kitchen – no the fridge hums!
dining room – damn I’ll have to clean up
from last night!
bathroom – well that lavatory seat
leaves nasty imprints, i’ve recently found,
especially when you use it for longer than the
morning paper, with the weight of an
apple mac on one’s thighs!
well it was at least a couple of hours.

my wardrobe choices have exploded.
those smart shirts, for headshot client ZOOM calls,
i now colour co-ordinate with pyjama bottoms,
or at worse my briefs – when the washing
hasn’t dried. Thank goodness they’re black,
so they go with any shirt.
my excuses for being late for those blasted
video-calls have grown in number and deviousness.
After all, it is a real tear-away to leave last night’s soapie
catch-up binge at ten a.m. on a weekday morning.
the next time i buy a persian carpet, if there is one,
i’ll go barefoot, to feel it’s true texture. that means
far more than haute couture pattern colouring or weave
these days, when I have to run to my laptop.

i’ve become a budding home-movie director, as I
decide on today’s work video-call backdrop.
the glint of my antique wooden cabinet
blends beautifully with the whisper of light
through the white shutters, haloed by
the table lamp for background – an oscar-winning
ambience. The problem is when my washing machine,
dryer and dishwasher run together, they sound like
a domestic acapella trio, incapable of achieving harmony.
I’ll need to start dating a partner who can try out for
sound-director. Oh damn, what if they extend
the lockdown?

I’ll never look at dishes in that sink
in quite the same way, as they
lurk mischievously out of dishwasher bubbles.
It’s as if they’re desperately trying to catch
the early morning light, as it shimmers in,
to try and make me feel good about washing them.
the fridge has become my best friend,
raiding it being like stealing that first kiss from a
boyhood girlfriend – deliciously dangerous.

and to think i longed to start to work from home
to improve the quality of my life.

Craig O’Flaherty

Published 13 April 2020