Living Room?

What’s happened? How can I be a Russian Nesting Doll? Shrinking. Shrinking.  
Travelers were we. Recently returned from China, South Korea and Japan.
Walked the Great Wall. Reveled in Mt Fuji and cherry blossoms.
Sailed the seas. Viewed sunsets and sunrises across waves.
Escaped Boston’s winter in San Diego sun. Two months
walking Balboa Park, La Jolla coast. Seafood galore.
Joyfully we planned for our 50th anniversary
to meet our children and their children.
Long weekend in Washington DC.
Laughter, love, and more love.
Then Covid-19 raced across
our land. And yours too.
Told to stay at home
we are minimized.
I exist on a much
smaller plane.
Just me here
in these few
rooms. But
at least
I am

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Laura asks us to “conjure a room or rooms in the literal, functional, metaphorical, imaginary, or fantastical sense.” I am struck by how the Covid-19 has shrunk our world and decreased our living space….our “living rooms” so to speak. And thus this post. Image from

18 thoughts on “Living Room?

  1. divalounger May 26, 2020 / 6:00 pm

    It is amazing how this virus has changed our lives–lives can feel smaller and more internal now than I can ever recall them feeling. Loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. D. Avery @shiftnshake May 26, 2020 / 6:46 pm

    The incredible shrinking world of Lillian. So effective how you arranged the words, The poem not only looks like nesting dolls and shows the diminished movement, it also looks like a curtain swept back, the view now only from within one’s own room.


  3. msjadeli May 26, 2020 / 7:09 pm

    Inventive use of nesting dolls to show your world shrinking, also reflected in your poem’s shape. It’s quite an adjustment to make, from full steam ahead to idling.


  4. revivedwriter May 26, 2020 / 7:35 pm

    This is cleverly written, with the shrinking form, the matryoshka doll metaphor, and the way the world has shrunk for all of us. Thankfully, we do have our online community / communities!


  5. Dale May 26, 2020 / 7:41 pm

    This was visually and poetically beautiful, Lillian.
    Yes, this virus has buggered us up, but good.


  6. Beverly Crawford May 26, 2020 / 8:53 pm

    Well, aren’t you the clever one! This absolutely captured me and entertained me! Well done.


  7. Nancy Jahnke May 26, 2020 / 8:58 pm

    Autobiographical, huh? Can’t wait to see the next chapter as we approach 2021!

    Sent from my iPhone



  8. Glenn A. Buttkus May 26, 2020 / 9:19 pm

    Hard-hitting and clever, this works on several levels. How ironic your travels took you through Asia ahead of the virus. I, too, thought about using the Russian nesting dolls as metaphor; more proof that like minds hang together, and that we all influence each other; smile.


  9. Frank Hubeny May 26, 2020 / 11:07 pm

    Nice last three word/lines during the process of minimization just like those dolls one inside the other.


  10. kim881 May 27, 2020 / 4:50 am

    A clever concrete/shape poem, Lill, which conveys the state of our current world, how it has shrunk for many people to four walls. Nesting dolls and nesting rooms. I agree with D. Avery that it looks like a curtain revealing a bit of the world outside. Your poem is particularly poignant on a personal level, considering all the wonderful journeys you’ve made and places you’ve visited, and then spent your anniversary in lockdown! I love the wordplay and ambiguity of ‘I exist on a much smaller plane’.


  11. Laura Bloomsbury May 27, 2020 / 6:10 am

    Brilliant concrete shrinking poem Lilian – indeed “we are minimized.”
    p.s. I relate to this not least after my return from New Zealand to the start of Covid


  12. rivrvlogr May 27, 2020 / 11:47 am

    So you really are a nesting doll. Well played.


  13. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) May 27, 2020 / 3:57 pm

    Indeed… we shrink our world… I feel that our neighborhood had changed from suburb to village… part of me really like the change.


  14. memadtwo May 27, 2020 / 7:35 pm

    I like the shape of the poem and the comparison with nested dolls. We seem to be permanently nested these days! (K)


  15. Mary (tqhousecat) May 28, 2020 / 2:15 pm

    The structure of your verse allowed us all to shrink with you, (as we did anyways,) and to all end up in the same room. Together, apart!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. calmkate May 28, 2020 / 5:08 pm

    a 50th you can never forget, and such a sharp contrast to your usual wanderings!

    powerfully presented in a format reflecting your russian doll analogy …


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