8:30 am at two ends 

of long dining room table

sit Amelia five and Hudson seven,

kindergartner and second grader

home-schooling during Covid.

School computers

hooked up to network,

school apps and Zoom

as they remote learn.

Single Mom bounces between them 

helping one then the other

navigate documents,

videos, time with teacher,

breakout rooms with classmates.

Amelia stands up, chants

“I pledge allegiance to the flag...”

straight into good morning song

in full voice. 

“Amelia, I can’t hear my teacher!”

from Hudson at the other end.

She turns down her voice, volume,

as her wi-fi goes glitchy, 

a newly learned vocabulary word.

Mom gets up, races to her side 

trips through snake pit 

of cords, adapters, feet 

where she signs in again, 

gets Amelia going.

Tech support team not an option,

900 open problem tickets. 

Hudson’s teacher gives 

assignment which he misses,

finds symbols to raise his hand,

un-mute himself, ask teacher to repeat,

write down assignment 

in second-grade shorthand,

mute himself again. 

 

Now to find their placemat white boards,

workbooks page 17, 23, 31 

scurrying with a job to do,

crayons, markers, hold up work 

for teacher to peruse

with 27 proud students on screen.

Gym period at 10:00am 

is five-minute video. 

They dance, run, gyrate in place,

wiggle like little worms

get their blood moving,

give brains a rest. 

Smiles. Mom joins in. 

11:30 is Amelia’s lunch time 

while Hudson works on his own,

“Mom, I don’t know which book she means, 

I need help!”

“Mom, my sandwich is yucky, can I have yogurt?

By 1:30 it’s anarchy,

the kindergartner throwing 

paper balls, spilling her water, 

crawling under the table,

“I hate kindergarten!”

Teacher tries to get kids 

to leave their Legos alone, 

sit back down,

Mom breathless.

Two more hours to go,

 

 

And these are the lucky families,

Mom, magna cum laude

family well off,

college-bound kids. 

 

What will become of us. 

 

Dianne Landau 10/28/20


As quarantine and self-isolation continues, we have begun to notice an uptick in poetry submissions. 

We always accept poems for consideration and welcome our readers to share their contributions.

If you are interested in submitting a poem for possible inclusion in The Malibu Times’ print edition, you may do so by emailing it to editorial@malibutimes.com or mailing it to The Malibu Times office at 3864 Las Flores Canyon Road.  

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