Chronicling the Days – Louise Hinton

Welcome to QWF series ‘Chronicling the Days’, specifically for this strange uneasy time of coronavirus and pandemic, of social distancing and self isolation, of lockdown and quarantine.

In April 2020, we invited writers in Quebec to submit a story – of a single day at this time, because while we’re all living through this time, we know that we’re not all living through it in the same way. To stay connected – to know how we’re getting on. Every story valid.

Submissions have now closed for the series but we’ll be continuing to publish the pieces throughout May. Keep an eye for them here, or join us on the QWF FB Community page, and let the authors know if their words resonated.

This piece is by Louise Hinton, writing in April 2020.

La Siesta – Henri Manguin (1905, Creative Commons)

On waking:

What day is it?

Enough sleep, car gone

Rainbows, a cup of tea, the ticking clock

Blueberry pancakes, pretending it’s the weekend

Working from home while daughter’s still asleep

Office banter on Teams, cold sunshine across the desk

Mommy, where’s the glue gun?

Ping! A Messenger message from my brother in isolation

Ping! A Teams message from the coordinator:

Can you translate this by 3 p.m.?


Ping! No, srsly, 3:00 at the absolute latest

Mommy, I can’t find the xacto knife

No knives!

Hey Mom, can you hold this while I paint the back? No! Don’t put it down until it dries.

That’s enough screen time. Why are you watching YouTube? Why?

Well I was making magic potion but I spilled the dye

Is it still Monday?

Mommy, I’m bored.

Clean the litter box and sweep the floor

Bored people will be assigned a chore

Wipe up that paint. Is that glue on the door?

Go outside.


Is that a snowflake?

Fluttering laundry on the optimistic clothesline casts shadows on the sleeping garden.

Ping! This job is more urgent! I need it by 4!

Ping! Ping! Ping!

Silence notifications.

Vibrate. Did you get my text? Cancel that first translation. We don’t need it anymore.

She imitates her teacher dancing

We giggle madly

Mommy, this was the best moment of the coronavirus vacation.


Sweetheart home safe from essential services work

Writing in my rocking chair

Tea in a fine clay pot

A secret: I love being home with my family.

A sigh released from the channel of sighs, where all the weariness goes.

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