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Tuesday, July 14, 2020


by George Held

T***p wears mask in public for 1st time. The president told reporters, “I've never been against masks,” before departing the White House for Walter Reed Medical Center. Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP via ABC News, July 12, 2020

That is no planet for old men, or young –
the Earth contaminated by a virus
so deadly that in one great city
one in three hundred has become

infected and in a tiny Arkansas town
one in nineteen, and all the while
the most powerful man on Earth
wears no mask, except at Walter Reed.

Maybe a mask offers no more protection
than a rubber with a hole in it
but still, the President might wear one
at least to show concern for prophylaxis;

so those who mask up to walk to the post
office must encounter strapping young women
and men whose aplomb, arrogance, or disregard
for more vulnerable citizens

lends even a commonplace sortie
a risk like charging a machinegun
nest on Iwo Jima. But most old folks know
their time is up and dying from the virus

can be more efficient than falling victim
to a malignancy. An aged human
is but a decrepit thing, unlikely to remain
a golden bird upon a golden bough,

much less to sing to a careless emperor…

George Held, a longtime contributor to TheNewVerse.News, is sheltering in Eastern Long Island.