Fear took his seat
Pale, on that bench
Amidst cowering eyes
On half faces barely seen
And their legs that wanted to run
Away from the enemy that cannot be seen
The crazy haunting of COVID-19.
Fear sat there
His face too, half
Buried in this interrupted
Ghostly mosaic of blue with ties
Frozen, so that 19 would pass him by
I mean, why would COVID stop to visit him
If he wasn’t home and lights were dim?
He also sat
Sick, and feverish
Folded and shaking within,
Praying, he’d remain invisible
Silent, motionless, and blended in.
Suddenly, his piece of this arrangement strange
Hoisted him, Marker, in this now firing range.
Contagion is here.
Jolted eyes all pointed aim,
Widened with terror, squinting hard
At scourge shining in shattered silent midst.
And fired they did, in allegiance one and squad strong
As they held their breath and slunk away, the terrified throng.
He felt them all.
The piercing bullets too.
He lowered more his tired head
And fetal position, he sadly assumed
Betrayed by his cough, his noise, and cheeks now consumed.
In their panicked recoil,
Wailing at distance’s widening wounds
Unlocked and released by their pristine clean
Innocent action, and pretended status within,
And marked by his guilt, stained by his genetic sin.
If they’d see
That disease lived
Freely in his every cell,
Incarcerating him since birth.
If they’d witness his screaming hand on Bible, swear
They’d not convict him of guilt by association, of cough, and crime,
But recognize that their presence was his constant and tortured wartime.
Note: For those with pre-existing conditions and who are otherwise vulnerable, this season of illness and fear is magnified. It brings the rest of us into the chronically ill’s daily reality. Let’s not be quick to judge, pass blame, and treat others like contagion. Let’s all take necessary precautions and show some humanity from a distance.
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