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Tuesday, March 02, 2021


by Laura Rodley

Graphic from The Atlantic.

Don’t let anyone tell you different,
it takes guts to sit in the chair
after your vaccine waiting
for possible anaphylactic shock,
it takes guts to hold up the mirror of fear
and see it showing your face masked,
it takes guts to weight the pros and cons,
death and life, the accordion wings
of your two lungs expanding, their
three lobes lifting up like the mouths
of goldfish inside a koi pond, it takes
guts to fill your tank with gas
holding the nozzle that some stranger
held, hand sanitizer wiping away
germs, wiping away fear, it takes
guts to drive yourself to your appointment,
the second time, all because you don’t
want to lose your place in line of this
carousel called life, all for real, and
the whole time, your lungs, their pink
tenderness expands and contracts,
without you asking, even when you sleep.

Laura Rodley, Pushcart Prize winner, is a quintuple Pushcart Prize nominee and quintuple Best of Net nominee. Latest books: Turn Left at Normal by Big Table Publishing, Counter Point by Prolific Press, and As You Write It Lucky Lucky 7, a collection of 11 writers' work.