With apologies to Shel Silverstein.
A (SOCIALLY-DISTANCED) INVITATION
If you are a doctor, come in
If you are a teacher, a furloughed worker, a day drinker,
A restaurateur, a binge-watcher, a closet crier…
If your unemployment is stuck in congressional mire.
If your great uncle Roy is a vaccine denier.
For we have apocalyptic tales to spin.
I MISS MY SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS
Oh, I miss my six hundred dollars!
That sweet, neat, bipartisan treat.
While sitting on my ass, it kept me on my feet.
That delicious six hundred dollars.
I used to make more, ’twas still a score
Money for masks from an Etsy store.
That glorious six hundred dollars.
I’d love to go to work again,
But my job requires mass gatherin’.
So please, won’t you Mitch,
Make me again rich,
Or at least afloat,
There in my lifeboat
Made out of six hundred dollars?
I CANNOT DISTANCE LEARN TODAY
The cat ate through my charging cable.
My work-at-home parents are hogging the table.
I saw a newspaper, now I’m traumatized.
My 2020 calendar’s still being revised.
Our home Wi-Fi is on the fritz.
Mom’s half-baked bread gave me the shits.
Sis has gymnastics in the next room;
I’m scared she might flip into the frame of my Zoom.
Teacher’s graying hair is becoming distracting.
She’s pretending all’s normal, but I know she’s just acting.
I’m convinced I’ve forgotten how to tell time.
Dad needs me to stock White Claw (he’s outta Lime).
I miss my classmates so much I can’t focus.
(Even the rich ones, framed in sand and crocus).
My mind is numb over the pending election.
Just saw a drug ad about an old man’s erection.
Everything’s out of sorts, I’m sure you agree—
Stuck in a small home with a brother who’s three.
My face feels flush, my head’s all—what?
What? What’s that you say?
You say it’s Yom Kippur today?
Goodbye. Back to Netflix. [hits play]
MY SWEATPANTS ATE MY LEGS
They started out comfy,
Much better than jeans.
But after one month,
I noticed some greens.
Began on my thigh,
Then down to my knees
At first, skin level,
Then into my bones. Geez!
Who knew cotton threads
Could turn limb to stump?
All ’cause I chose
To dress like a frump.
Here’s a fair warning
To the smugly unsuited,
As you Zoom with colleagues,
Unkempt and unmuted.
You may think that freedom
Is what you’ve hatched,
But those fitted joggers
Come with (draw)strings attached!
Lil Donnie knows, but pretends to not.
“A hoax!” he croaks, when things turn hot.
Experts ask, “What’s the raging boy’s plan?!”
As the wicked beast COVID increases its span.
He flails and fails, as if deaths are untrue.
Monsters have spread among us—
Must you, Don, be one too?
It’s good for turning your towels extra bright,
Hardened stains removed overnight.
But don’t you dare pair it with UV light,
Or drink it up like vitaminized Sprite.
For it’s not a cure for corona’s cruel plight.
Won’t immunize your quarters, quite tight.
Not a medical breakthrough, but a medical slight.
Mr. President, sir, your idea is not bright.
At a time when lives matter,
Why’s your “cure” so darn white?
Wobble, wobble shakes a glass of wine
Whoosh, whoosh goes a napkin, flying
Crinkle, crinkle folds a paper menu
::Sigh, sigh:: goes an owner, tired but trying.
I go out hoping to feel European,
but nearby cabs, they’re terrifying.
I could say this outdoor table’s as good,
But my friend, I’m ’fraid I’d be lying.
Wanna see a film?
Then, friend, you best get streamin’.
Broadway soundin’ good?
Those lights, they ain’t a beamin’.
Craving a concert tonight?
Alexa will have to do.
A parade or fair or carnival?
Gone. Kaput. Through.
No need to silence your cellphones.
No one’s there to glare or sneer.
Rustle your candy wrappers all you want.
Your etiquette gets a pass this year.
A bad time for a live audience, yes,
And I don’t mean to sound uncouth,
But it sorta makes you long for days when
The biggest threat was John Wilkes Booth.