Skip to main content


The Sheltering Suburbanite to Her Neighbor

By Melissa Balmain

(Editor's Note: A parody by Melissa Balmain that originally appeared in The American Bystander. Reposted by permission.)

“Many families are now grappling with whether, when and how to open their pandemic-quarantine bubbles to additional people.” — Wall Street Journal

(Sorry, Christopher Marlowe)

Come live with me inside my bubble:
Our cozy and exclusive club’ll
Share real — not Zoomed or FaceTimed! — meals,
Plus, if the ease of it appeals,

We’ll work around supply-chain glitches
By pooling all our greatest riches:
My yeast can now be yours as well,
My Charmin, Clorox and Purell.

And we’ll take walks, no longer shouting
The way we had to when each outing
Meant trying for a heart-to-heart
While eardrums struggled yards apart.

And I’ll divide my sourdough starter,
And you will generously barter
Your sewing skills. (I’d love a cute
New mask and tailored hazmat suit.)

It just makes sense that we should weather
This crisis (cautiously) together!
Now free at last to hug hello,
We’ll meet each day for morning Joe;

We’ll gossip while our kids are playing;
I’ll paint your nails… What’s that you’re saying?
A nail salon? You went at 3?
Stay the f*ck away from me.

— Melissa Balmain

Melissa Balmain is the editor of Light, a journal of light verse. Her collection Walking in on People is often mistaken by online shoppers for some kind of porn. She is the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop's Humor Writer of the Month for December 2020. Follow her on Twitter.

Previous Post

Humor Writer of the Month: Melissa Balmain

Poet Melissa Balmain, editor of Light, the country's longest-running journal of light verse, has been named Humor Writer of the Month.
Read More
Next Post

Ho, Ho, Ho, Santa Claus

This story was told to me by a bartender in Salmon, Idaho. It happened more than 50 years ago, so I don’t think it will do any harm to tell it now.
Read More