Le Weekend a la Lockdown

The prompt from NaPoWriMo Day 18 would have us thinking about Saturdays. That, inevitably, invites a contrast between before lockdown and what a weekend means now that we are in lockdown. Because without external cues, we might lose track of what day it is at all. My husband had to check with me a couple days ago. My reply was that I checked on my tablet everyday to keep track.

Our optional prompt for the day also honors the idea of Saturday (the Saturdays of the soul, perhaps?), by challenging you to write an ode to life’s small pleasures. Perhaps it’s the first sip of your morning coffee. Or finding some money in the pockets of an old jacket. Discovering a bird’s nest in a lilac bush or just looking up at the sky and watching the clouds go by.


I figure I have written a good deal of poetry about small pleasures. They feature largely in our life out on an acre and quarter in West Cavan and give it much of its rich texture and rewards. Again, to quote the husband who says (ironically), “Another fine mess you got me in.” Which is a Stan Laurel line.

One of the features of our life in lockdown, and semi-retirement, is to have self-imposed routines. So my topic zeroed in on a new feature in our home routine of the small pleasure kind during lockdown and staying at home. My husband is very fond of cake, but when there was a dearth of flour and eggs early on in lockdown I brushed off some of my American cookbooks and returned to my native tradition of cookie baking. There is more bang for your buck in terms of ingredients. Also, they last a whole lot longer in this house.

The poem that finally emerged in my notebook and got tarted up when typing up, does steal a phrase from Stephen Colbert’s “A Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” I daresay he hasn’t trademarked it (yet) and I hope I will be forgiven for snatching it to go in the final stanza.

Le Weekend à la Lockdown
There is no bustle or rustle of thick newspaper.
The supplements have grown thin, though remain rich
There still remain some weekly landmarks to savour,
because if it is Saturday then it is time for Kitchen Witch
to wave her magic spoon, take her shift as shaper
in cookie dough of flour, sugar and butter.
Will it be this week orange and cardoman? Or vanilla?
Coconut or chocolate? Or peanut butter?
What’s left in the cupboard to set out in tray flotillas
of sweetness in a world that is full of bleakness?
Reading those headlines when we can get newspapers,
there is just one story. There must be some uniqueness.
Quarantine-while, millions get up to all sorts
                                                       of at home capers.
But if it’s Saturday, then here in my home
                                                     I am a cookie baker.
Copyright © Bee Smith, 2020. All rights reserved.

Featured image is a Photo by Rai Vidanes on Unsplash