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  • Writer's pictureColin Phelan

Manic in Quarantine: Breaking the monotony of repetition

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

My legs are still warm

And part of me wants to stretch

But part of me –

I guess the greater part of me

Wants to write

So that is what I am doing.

I saw many new things today,

Today, a day that had been like any other day,

Any other day that I – and probably we –

Have grown used to during this quarantine.

I set out to run,

On a nice, warm, shiny Thursday,

Mid-afternoon, the birds of Danbury

Chirping away, the cool breeze

Rustling through the forest

Which engulfs this hometown.

I went my normal route,

A right on Middle River

(I would love to know which cardinal

Direction that is, especially as someone who normally

Prides himself on a sense of spatial awareness).

I think it is west.

My stride felt normal, nothing special.

I had nothing in particular on my mind

Other than that it was a nice day.

Within my first steps, I looked left

And saw a house I don’t think

Id ever seen before.

I did a double take,

The second of which,

Was in fact the first time

I really saw it.

A red home with a beautiful mahogany garage.

I continued, along Middle River,

Finding somewhat of a groove.

A man outside, in his driveway

Shooting hoops.

I wonder: when was the last time he did that?

I continued, finding a nice pace

Before working my way up the

Clockwise spiral bend

And looked again to my left:

A simple home,

Flanked by logs of wood, maybe

Stored away for a winter

Which never really happened.

The immediate next home,

You guessed it,

On my left.

Brown, slightly elevated above street level.

I would like to live there.

A part of me – maybe that same part of me

Writing right now

Would live in all of these homes.

I bent my sight around

The back of the home.

A downward sloping

Yard, a firepit.

A right on Birch Street.

Would this continue? I’m not one

For architecture, nor

Am I one to survey homes,

Imagining which ones I would and would not

Live in (I guess I just did this)

Having run this route hundreds of times—

This same one—

I had never seen these homes, really seen them.

A finely-veiled red cabin,

A bridge in the backyard, over a stream,

But leading to where?

I made my way back.

Would I see others, from this

New perspective?

A few, I must say,

And an elderly woman

In her bright pink raincoat -- Either she, or I, hadn’t read the forecast –

Gently contrasting her modest, sky-blue home.

A honk or two at me,

A few raking their leaves,

And a few seemed to have hired others to do

That for them.

I returned home,

A left this time.

And in the theme of

The run, I tried to find something

New about my own home.

Too easy:

Why was our chimney so centered

Above the front door?

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