Image by Emily Jay (

Unless you lived with him, you’d not know

anything were wrong. He forgets what day it is,

then what he planned to cook. In the middle

of the pandemic he can’t go out, so he never

has to panic, search for where he parked the car.

My job is to protect him. He’s 76 years old

and has diabetes. I’m watching over him,

won’t let him take any risks. I double check

the shopping list, won’t let him go to the market

and pick among the beef ribs, which is his delight.

I, who’ve only done the eating, never the planning

am doing the shopping as well. He is vulnerable,

the elderly man with the pre-existing

condition you read about in the newspaper.

E Laura Golberg

"Caring for my Husband During the Pandemic" is one in a series of poems that forms the backbone of E Laura Golberg's new manuscript, Commitment. Other poems of hers have been published in Rattle, Poet Lore, Birmingham Poetry Review, RHINO, and the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, among other places. She won first place in the Washington, DC Commission on the Arts Larry Neal Poetry Competition and her poem Erasure has been nominated for a 2021 Pushcart Prize. Her website is

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top