Poem with an explanation: on the island

Twenty days
on the island
since the boat
ran aground.

Coconuts
bananas
shellfish
roots

Water
in puddles
carried around
by buckets.

On a stone
the days are marked
and some semblance of time
is kept.

No boats.
No planes.
A message in the sand.

A routine.
The little things.
Counting.
Planning.

Running on the beach.
Swimming in the cove.
Never too far,
from hut or shore.

Evenings seem long.
What time to wake up?
Days blend.
Marking the stone.

One day
a boat will come by.

 

This poem is about a person staying home during the coronavirus situation.  The person isn’t ill, but is staying home so they won’t get ill nor infect others.  The idea is expressed by describing a person’s situation on a deserted island.

In the first stanza, it is noted that the person has been at home for twenty days.  They started staying home before they were officially told to and have continued to stay home.  They haven’t gone to the store or anywhere since before the first day.

In the second stanza, the person’s food is noted.  It is limited to what they have on the island, which is symbolic of the limitation of what they have in the house.

In the third stanza, the difficulty of basic necessities is noted.  In the poem, the person struggles to find and use water.  In the person’s house they struggle to find and use supplies as they don’t leave.

In the fourth stanza, the person records the days they have been in isolation.  Although there isn’t a real point to noting the number, the person wants to keep a sense of time.

In the fifth stanza, the person is waiting for the situation to end.  In the poem they want to be rescued.  In the reality of the poem, the person wants the virus to end.

In the sixth stanza, the person tries to form a routine.  They note the little things they do.  They count things they have and they plan for how they will use things.

In the seventh stanza, the person tries to get exercise.  They do this though without leaving their area.  In the reality of the poem, the person does not leave their property.

In the eighth stanza, the person notes that evenings are long.  This is because they are alone and can’t go anywhere.  They also note a sense that time has lost some value as they are home all the time.  They question what time they should wake up.  They note the days are blending, but they still mark them to keep track.

In the ninth stanza, hope is expressed that the situation will end.  In the poem, a boat will come by.  In the reality of the poem, the virus will end.