We liked / being able...

Language

We liked doing things with other people. We still do. We're human, after all. Years on this earth and still All we long for- Ache for, at times- Is human connection. A few years ago, this was taken away. Ripped from our grasp, Leaving us a depressed and deflated soul. And yet... Still, we continue. As we have done, As we will continue to do, For however many years left to come. Germs will be germs, As germs have been. Humans will be sick, As humans have been. The cycle of life: To live, to make life, But ultimately? To die. And yet, death Is the ultimate human fear. And life Is what we're constantly being prevented From living. So when you plead them- Ask them so enthusiastically To prick you in the arm- To make the fear go bye-bye... Because they said it'd make it better, Because they said, this way, you won't die. But... I have one question for you: Who was it that told you to be afraid in the first place? (It was them, wasn't it?)

Anon E. Mouse
"There's Nowhere Like Home"

Dear vaccine...

Language

you tried to rob me of my wife and my kids of their mother


Kent OH

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine, I am ready to boost!

Tyler
Tucson, AZ

Dear vaccine...

Language

Three years/ I still tear up/ Feel a little hitch in my throat/ Each time I see/ I feel/ the weight in those words/ Dear vaccine


Dear vaccine...

Language

Vaccines save lives around the world.

aline
Brazil

We liked / being able...

Language

We liked the solitude you placed us in, It was like we all had to sit in the quiet corner to think about our past, make sense of the present and redirect our futures. We tried understanding your language under the mask mandates, We learned to listen with our lungs instead of our hearts, Dear vaccine, we understood you well.

Shaunton Taylor
Lacrosse, Virginia

Dear vaccine...

Language

I received you four times and guess what? I contracted covid anyway medical attention not required but I know it still has say I fear contracting it again hoping that it just will not but if it does, i know that I will not feel so much overwrought I'm so thankful that you're here keep improving, going on I am hoping that you can take this virus, make it gone!

Jenny Hite
Kansas City, MO

Dear vaccine...

Language

thank you for saving my life and the lives of so many others. Thank you for showing so many of us what life is truly about. Forgive those of us who didn't believe in you. Some are no longer with us. But we all need to find our way in this post- pandemic world and work together to save more lives.

Maril Crabtree
Kansas City

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine When will a vaccine/ inoculate lost loved ones/ from false narratives?

Rob Hatem
Kansas City, Missouri

Dear vaccine...

Language

Thank you.


Missouri

Vaccine, please...

Language

stop being necessary.


It's the...

Language

We build monuments to exemplify and illustrate moments that express all that is good in humanity. We also build monuments so that we never forget. Wire cages, fences and security checkpoints do not edify us, do not represent goodness or morality. They are expressions of nothing that is good. The wire cages, fences and security checkpoints that we see everyday on Qufu Normal University campus are monuments to sadness, lives lost, economic failure and a government that failed to provide medical solutions. Take the wire cages down. Remove the fences. Re-assign security personnel. They are monuments to shame. They do not belong here.

Roger L Lambert III
Qufu Normal University, Qufu, Shandong Province

It's the...

Language

The policy has collapsed, as it should. The response from CCP, "policy is science and medically sound response" But neither the science nor the medical data is revealed, kept a mystery since 2019. Eight Wuhan doctors in 2019 uncovered SARS-2 and COVID-19. One died, but the other seven are kept under cover, forbidden to speak of "national and state secrets." We are in 2023 and still without satisfactory medical facilities, still without sufficiently prepared medical personnel, and still without a resolution to a virus problem. Fences, cages, and security staffed checkpoints still remain. Social controls imprisoning the people are everywhere. Nearly four years of this pandemic and CCP has no answer and forbids inquiry.

Roger L Lambert III
Qufu Normal University, Qufu, Shandong Province

Dear vaccine...

Language

Remind of/walking into a room without worry/hugging a long missed friend/of what it means to be carefree.

Alyson
Los Angeles, California

It's the...

Language

“.....the earth was at first shapeless chaos, and the spirit of God breathed over the dark vapors....” O Breath Breathe on this chaos Still these turbulent times Still tenderly. Make something. Make sense. Make something , make sense. Breathe fear’s passing, breathe peace, Breathe Pentecost. Come, come. Welcome. Create in us Love’s fire. Breathe Breathe on me, O Breath of God. Breathe on us, Breathe in us, Breathe with us, Breathe through us, Breathe for us. Breathe still and create anew That we be willing to breathe As You. Amen. FDB

Florence Blyskal
East Islip, NY

It's the...

Language

Today, like every day since December 2019, we stand in line/we wait for (coerced) "volunteers" to swirl a Q-tip around our throats/the results we already know/"zero dynamic" policy is arbitrarily implemented we all know/we stand in line going nowhere but in circles/2019 will never leave us/how long?

Roger L Lambert III
Qufu Normal University, Shandong PRC

It's the...

Language

It's the irony in the increasing number of police forces and number of cages that the CCP erects for our "safety"/why is it that none of us feel "safe"/why is it that we continue to stand in lines for Beijing/why is it that Beijing punishes us/what have we done but everything that we've no choice but to do?/What did we do?/What is Beijing doing for us?/Caging us/stealing our lives/stealing our future/we did not choose this/

Roger L Lambert III
Qufu Normal University, Shandong, PRC

Vaccine, please...

Language

be the invitation to dinner my grandmother receives to join her friends, close together as a table of four, in their assisted living home that had to close public dining areas, leaving them all to dine in their apartments alone, for too many months alone.


It's the...

Language

chattering voices, laughter of men, women, children, swept away/wailing cries spiral to the skies/the emptiness is heavy on my shoulders/the silence and empty spaces of my university haunt and chill me/I know and don't know, that we are not yet done with this/there is no end...

Roger L Lambert, III
Qufu City, Shandong Province PRC

Dear vaccine...

Language

We know you are not perfect, but neither are we/ You need us just as much as we need you/ You need us to prove your worth, we need you to prove ours/ Together, we co-create a stronger world, a better world, a newer world/ Let's empower each other today....

Aparna Gupta
Virginia

Vaccine, please...

Language

mRNA or messenger-RNA vaccine,you give a message to our cells, to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein, which are like those of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The protein then triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

Sukarma Rani Thareja
AHEMDABAD GUJRAT INDIA

Vaccine, please...

Language

Vaccine please, take us back in time, to when those public, mask - free gatherings were what we took for granted. The times we'd see each and everyone of our classmates entire faces filled with smiles from ear to ear. Oh when we could do more than just order food and dining in if we wanted to. Take us back in time when full school years in person was the norm. Vaccine please, give us hope for our future. The one soon to be filled with doctors, and lawyers, and teachers. Let us realize how to change in order to grow; how to adapt. Bring us closer together again. Vaccine please, help us to become better people.

Na'Kia A.
St. Croix, USVI

Dear vaccine...

Language

Take me seriously. I did all the procedures, I wore my masks. I stayed home and alone, waiting of this to pass. I took you twice, even a booster too. Hoping that you will protect me, and do what you were made to do. I know I sound desperate, and I kinda am. To get a certain time of normal and get back what we once had.

Che V.
USVI

We liked / being able...

Language

We liked being able to see our friends. It being just yesterday rather than months before that we last talked to them. We liked breathing without wearing another mask. Feeling the air in our lungs rather than fear running through our body. We liked having an external world that didn’t feel as uncertain as the internal one. A sense of normality and familiarity that now seems foreign and long gone. Will we ever see it again?

Ariel H

It's the...

Language

It's the cries of our people that deafens my ears and the begging of the old and young to make the world whole again. It's the wearing of masks and distancing from others that mentally takes a toll on us. We wonder when this pain will go away and how many loved ones lost will it take for God to look down on his people and have mercy on us.

S.C

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear vaccine, some may hate you, some might love you. I know you're just trying to make us regain strength. During the pandemic people lost hope, but you came in and saved 2021 and 2022. You brought back that normalcy that we needed. Today we are standing around without masks. Communicating and congregating by the mass. Partying and gathering having a blast! Would we ever come back?

D'lani C.
U.S.V.I

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine, We once had no where to go, trapped in our own rooms with no protection against the dangers of the outer world. A cloth wall protecting us and brick walls keeping us 10 feet away. While time passes by, our bodies get older and new strains of the virus put us in danger. The fluid that has been constructed again and again being deemed useless. Old faces looking like new faces, and new faces looking like i've never seen them before. The two years the virus took from me, i'll never forget, and the freedom the vaccine gave me, changed nothing.

Richie M.
Virgin Islands, USVI

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear vaccine, you are the glorious product of science; the needed hope of man. We’ve taken a chance on you and you’re constantly working behind the scenes to restore our lives and to prove that you’re worth the consideration. We don’t rely on Teams, Zoom or masks like we used to, and your strenuous labor allows us to feel more safe in our day to day interactions. We’re not completely back to normal, but its a start. Will we ever be back to normal? You showed us that normal is not set in stone and that its meaning can change. Dear vaccine, for now, you are our normal and you might be added to the long list of vaccines that are needed to keep different sicknesses at bay. Our immortal bodies will always be vulnerable to the ailments of the world, but thanks to you we are not completely defenseless in this desperate attempt to stay alive.

Lisandra M

We liked / being able...

Language

We liked living and breathing without limitations. Being able to spend quality time with family and friends. To a world where now the slight signs of illness make others stare. Things that were fine before...Will it end? We asked ourselves, can it be normal again?

S.Samuel

It's the...

Language

It's the faith we have in you to return our lives back to us. With great intent we see all the good that can come from just a prick. The energy that was lost being restored. The old-school outdoor childhood we miss so dearly. Imagine socializing with others after so long. Is it even possible? Is that even something you are capable of doing? The physical touch, something that was as innocent as a handshake would be normalized again. Normal. What is that? With our world changing and our adaptions to it, we live abnormally. Take us back to the time when we could walk, talk, sing, act, dance, love, caress so freely. Oh how beautiful will it be to see everyone smiling and all the familiar faces easily recognized. Oh please restore our lives and grant us our light at the end of the tunnel.

Chenille Bolivar
U.S. Virgin Islands

Vaccine, please...

Language

Vaccine, please rid us of our sufferings. Make sure our next generation excels before us. Make right the wrongs and show us what we can fight for. I beg onto you, I feed onto you. To those who are blind, we must make them see. What's worth living in fear, as to live just to live. Why can't I see who I want to see, and be who I want to be. Is it worth it? Taking away privileges. Just to rise to your standard. Is it worth it.

Mekiesha W.

Vaccine, please...

Language

Vaccine, please. Please protect humanity. We know that you are here to overcome this battle. Be the hero to bring us back to normalcy. It's the same cycle over again. When will this madness end. Missing being free.. not fearing of being able to get sick. Put a stop to this horrific virus.

T. Corke

Vaccine, please...

Language

Vaccine, please give us our life back. Restore our lives, for we know not what we've done. We miss it all, from the long conversations to the endless breath of fresh air. Why must we isolate ourselves? For we know not what we've done. Vaccine, please give us some sympathy. We have been paranoid enough. We miss how it used to be and how much relief it felt to feel free. Vaccine, please give us our life back. For we will never complain again, even about a crack.

Deja'Nique K. Liburd
St Croix, USVI

We liked / being able...

Language

Being able to breathe fresh air like when a flower first bloom. A black cloud that covers my face soon starts to deteriorate. I see a time where you can say it's a blessing, but the unnecessary problems that comes with it cause destruction in its own path. We can sit and pretend where this can be the new era for our generation. What if it can't restore what we lost since it's to damage to see it's true form. Maybe oh maybe a difference can change with a little prick. Smiling at the unknown shaking our fingertips to fingertips. A conversation that can last a lifetime rather than leaving so soon. Oh how perfect it will be if this can truly be the flowers first bloom we needed to see.

E.Williams
St.Croix U.S Virgin Islands

It's the...

Language

It’s the thing that has driven us crazy; the thing that has torn us further apart. It’s the cause of constant fear and suffering; the cause of impatience and frustration. It’s the reason why students have grown lazy; the reason why some of us have lost those that we hold deep in our heart. It’s the thing that we were not prepared for; the thing that has overstayed its welcome. It’s the cause of high unemployment rates and businesses getting shut down; the cause of paranoia and isolation. It’s the reason why must keep fighting; the reason why we must stay strong together even if we’re 6 feet apart.

Alisha P.
Frederiksted, U.S.V.I.

It's the...

Language

It's the bump in the road The one thing that prevents us from having normality What is normality? Is it trying to avoid getting sick everywhere we go? Is it trying to breathe to the best of our abilities? How are we the future suppose to show our children what normal is? How are they suppose to grow in a world so fragile? I just wish this was all a dream But, this is one of those dreams you just can't awake from Yet, the last has yet to be seen.

Alianna s.
Virgin Islands, U.S.V.I

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear vaccine...Although you came around, normalcy is taking a while to come for me. Our community who live in the ways of old strongly opposed any change. Thank you vaccine, for the chance to protect our families. Thank you for allowing my grandmother to see my smiling face and for me to see hers. But as the days go by I wonder if this cycle will ever end. I'm hopeful for the days like old. Where no one knew of masks, and where vaccines were unnecessary. Dear vaccine I thank you for giving us a moment of peace.

Leanne V

It's the...

Language

It's the mask for me/It's the waiting for me/It's the avoidance of illness for me/It's the lost acquaintances for me/It's the pressing gloom of death tolls for me/It's the pain of friends who lost their great people for me/It's the vigilance for me/It's the moment I knew I had it for me/But I was careful, it's that for me/It was the dread for me/It was the push for breath for me/It was mortality for me, mortality thick like night winds and blackness so deep I could sink in the stars and galaxies and forget I am human, but for breath/ It was all that for me/And I'm glad we are on the other side of it/It's for grasping life now, for me.

Regina Kay
Christiansted

Vaccine, please...

Language

Vaccine, please be true/as ever the best lovers are/ who heal the wounded lost, cynical soul/who drives away the sadness from a loner's heart. Vaccine, please defy the loud rabble of foolish men/ believing in bleach as the sick believe in God./Be science and truth/Be the light of families needed a remedy/some sense made/ of already love ones gone too soon, young or old.

Regina K

We liked / being able...

Language

We liked Being able to sit in the restaurant Being able to walk between the tables and stand at the register with bare faces Being able to hold the menus Being able to hold the menus without washing our hands immediately after holding the menus Being able to kiss without thinking of the microbes Being able to walk into the hospital room with bare faces Being able to walk into the hospital and find most of the rooms empty

Keely Hyslop
Tualatin, OR

Dear vaccine...

Language

The narrow hallways of your sterile home / welcome us with suprising alacrity


New York, NY

We liked / being able...

Language

We liked sitting close to our students, being able to whisper encouragement in their tiny ears. We liked holding their sticky hands, being able to provide warm support. But now we like to stay safe, wear masks, and wash our dry cracked hands. We like that the vaccine gives protection, being able to recover even if we get the virus.

Stacey L. Joy
Los Angeles, California

Vaccine, please...

Language

Vaccine, please... Please protect my family./ Please don't allow this merciless disease/ To snatch them away as it did my father./ His once strong body withered away/ To an unrecognizable mass/ Attached to cold, lifeless machines/ Mechanically breathing sterile life into his dying lungs/ Until.../ Now to the world he is merely/ Another sad statistic in a sea of sad statistics/ But.../ He was my Daddy.../ Vaccine, please protect my family...

Mignon

Vaccine, please...

Language

Vaccine, please, let me leave this chair,/so I may wander into shops again,/stopping for a latte and a chat with the barrista who compliments my old pup./Allow me to remove my mask and smell the air.


Cranford, NJ

It's the...

Language

It's the sting / I try to take away / telling my son / "This is your shield!" / reminding him of his warrior status

Christina Lux
Merced, CA

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine, you will die by your own hands, and no one will mourn you. Your passing will bring a celebration of realization of life that no other death has gifted the world.

Kiana Davis
Richmond, Ca

Dear vaccine...

Language

Long story short: I was born with a genetic disease. The cure was vaccines, twice a month. This toddler kicked every nurse who came in range with a needle -- I'm sorry -- I was first in line for this one. I behaved myself, but I understand that urge to kick.

Jeff P
Los Angeles, CA

Dear vaccine...

Language

thank you for being here... but... you suck. The need for your presence angers me. You are selfish and needy... always wanting more. I give to you endlessly... hopeful each time we meet. It is never enough. I only ever asked one thing from you... and I am denied. Hello, COVID


Sacramento, CA

Dear vaccine...

Language

I have never seen a hospital since birth then a spinal tap was the gateway to my like so a prick or a stick would not be so wrong When my last name is wright

Que Wright
Chicago, IL

We liked / being able...

Language

We'd like to see / your face / do you have one?/ or like us / do you, too, cover your face, this mask / indefinite / like more boosters, your encouragement / that we must go on.

M. Miranda Maloney
Huntsville, TX

It's the...

Language

it's the wrapping of a wound/ mending of a broken bone / the soothing balm on a scrape / I can step out into the sunlight / body beaten but / still it's whole.

Sarah Ray
Oakland, CA

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine / my baby cousin born in isolation / i can kiss her tiny toes yet / thank you / Dear Vaccine / will her newborn eyes repair our families fractions / or will divided truths keep us from embracing still


We liked / being able...

Language

We liked each other, Being able to be a community- Just living life, Not divided by masked or unmasked, Vaxed or Unvaxed A health issue made politicial Although politics are never good.

MOPOETRY PHILLIPS
MIDDLESBORO, KENTUCKY

It's the...

Language

It's the reality that we could prefer how we appear on a Zoom screen/the comfort of buttonless pants on expanding waistlines seldom seen/video off when we needed to be there/but unwilling/unable/ to be present

Alexis
Illinois

It's the...

Language

It's the way you made me feel nostalgic for longago sick./The second shot and the booster took me out but it took me back:/ naps and blankets, Superfriends, Days of Our Lives while Mom hovered around with flat 7-Up and a thermometer./ But then I felt safe./And that things could shift to a semblance of back.


Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine, / There were days my body ached / for the warmth of my mother's touch. / But I work in the city / and my mom is old. / Before you came, / we cried bitter tears / for isolation and voluntary separation / were an immediate option / so we could keep each other safe. / Dear Vaccine, / Hugs are simple testaments / to the beauty of human touch. / Thank you for the second chance! / Thank you for the beautiful reminder / of the power of meaningful connection. E.E. Ruiz Cebu, Philippines

Elvin E. Ruiz
Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

Vaccine, please...

Language

Vaccine, please understand your power quiets qualms that aren't easy to concede. Please understand a reluctance to return when returning means nothing has changed.


Chicago, IL

We liked / being able...

Language

We liked being able to sneeze or cough without dramatic concern to Lysol bomb the interloper of our personal orbit of breath/ we liked being able to neglectful and caught in blissed out spaces without concern for staying 6 feet apart/ oh pandemic, what crazy thoughts you have run through our days, through our ways, forever changed, forever renewed.

Sherry Niedelman
Las Vegas Nevada

We liked / being able...

Language

We liked being able to stand, sit, walk, eat and gather with family, friends, and strangers. The eerie stillness of our lives was all around us.

Nick M.
Chicago, Il

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear vaccine, The poison and anecdote to my skin and kin/another ploy for division I care not embrace Loved ones lost in the flesh and in death/anger and fear continues to win/though we all are stuck on the same life conveyor...many not knowing what ailments will get us best.

Nicole Danielle

We liked / being able...

Language

We liked seeing acknowledging glances, smiles, and knowing nods during hour-long classes on warm afternoons. Even puzzled looks and furrowed brows let us know you were tuned in. Perhaps we liked the latter even more as they made us hear ourselves, sharpen our language, explain more clearly, reach more deeply.

Cindy
San Antonio, Texas

Dear vaccine...

Language

Oh how education has change! Changes that have made the system better. Changes that open up the eyes of the world as how important it to have educators.

Carissa
Augusta, Georgia

It's the...

Language

It's the road less travelled with friends who protect themselves fierce so fierce from other points of view constructing battlements hurling volleys of slings and arrows of your way vs my way, the highway, no way, one way only, not your way, not our way - my way. No way forward no room to move not a shot in the arm more a shot to the heart.

Karen Adler
Wagstaffe, NSW, Australia

It's the...

Language

It's the sigh of relief, / the assurance that even if we get it, / when we get it / we will get to go on / to grow on / knowing that we are doing our best to / protect / connect / reflect / as we exhale / and begin to breathe again

Dara Miller
Chicago, Illinois

Dear vaccine...

Language

let us inhale, exhale hope/remind us to believe that we are/still worth saving

Jennifer B.

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine, Thank you I will never forget the day cold and grey when I tentatively opened the door to my neighborhood bookstore once again after the world began to reopen thanks to you. The smell of the books lined up on shelves waiting to be held , the pages turned, the words consumed, the fonts admired. My eyes filled with tears making it hard to read the titles.


Seattle

Dear vaccine...

Language

bending in the heat of fever/the hospital visits clinging to hope/what remains ghosted as lost love/time spilling regrets

Colleen Dieckmann

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine/ We thought you were the end/A period concluding this sentence of solitude/Haven't we learned by now/Our plans forever rest on shifting ground/You buy us time, a little taste/Of life restarted/Of embrace/You follow the evolving trail of virus breadcrumbs/We thought you were a one-night stand/Wrong again./Remember when it was a great celebration/Welcoming your arrival with grand visions/Nervously returning to communal space/Now there are no lines and we pay our respects one at a time

Cynthua J. McGean
Portland, Oregon

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine, my brother won't come out of his house. He says he will not be a test subject. He is allergic to bees is afraid of a single prick.

Reverie K
Dallas, TX

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine/I am indebted to you/I was able to see the place I was born again/To hug and hold my village members once more/To silently mourn in the spaces where I have lost others/As I embark on a new upcoming journey/I reflect upon how/You made it possible to ride in a car with loved ones/Break bread/Sing songs/Play card games/And have communal movie nights together/Although these variants continue to multiple and divide/They seem to be able to withstand your potency/Thank you for bringing me back to me

Jashonai Payne
Elizabeth, NJ/Residing in Charlotte, NC

We liked / being able...

Language

We liked being able to share food/ and drinks/ "You get taro/ I'll get Dragon Well/ we'll share!"/ We like being able to share/ new flavors/ new places/ new sights/ new smells/ new sounds.

David Martinez

It's the...

Language

It's the hands that held me before I made footsteps out of words. It's the awe and the innocence. The wonder-- when closeness is restored shall language still be enough?

Fini
Santa Fe, Argentina

Dear vaccine...

Language

I need you to remove the pause button on social/I have not seen my parents in a year though they live five minutes away/ I having a high risk job teaching five and six year olds

Nicole M Metts
Copperas Cove, TX

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine, / My apologies if I already take you for granted. In the year since we've known each other, I let you slip farther and farther from my daily gratitude. I teach, I travel, I hug, I smile, and though it's all thanks to you, I forgot. So, thanks. Thank you dose 1, for my sore arm, thank you dose 2, for my day on the couch with my dog, and thank you booster, for what feels like normalcy. What a gift it is to take my life back.

Alyssa
Cincinnati, OH

We liked / being able...

Language

We liked planning ahead / being able to dream our futures ... no interlopers, no dread. / Visions of holidays ... frolicking with family and friends ... danced freely in our heads.

Niru
Pasadena, CA

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine, I did not feel you me you've got through my blood stream, I know you tried to be nice with the gentle hands of the nurse, but felt you when I could walk out more freely, when I could see my the friends in the next day, I could feel ...

Mojdeh Amini
LA, CA

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine/ We had a flurry to find you/ As we continued to show up/ in our classrooms/ Masked and hoping for the best/ When you arrived it was orderly/ We signed up for our slot/ Showed up with hundreds of others/ It was quick/ We moved in and out/ Sitting in chairs for 10 minutes afterwards/ Just to be sure we were good/ It was relief to get you/and now it looks like we'll meet again


lee ma

It's the...

Language

It's the fear for me/the vaxx is like Black to me/I'm Black, you see/in a push away from misery/in this hateful society/You promised me/I'd be free/masks remind me of the KKK invading my granddaddy's Bessemer, AL street/It's the prick for me/three babies came from me/so shots mean nothing to me/but the uncertainty of your deemed healing spree/remains a mystery to me/It's the separation for me/Friends and family think I'm crazy for remaining vaxx-free/But they've all gotten pricked, you see/Except for me/They've all gotten C19 again/Except for me!/Explain THAT mystery...!

LaShanna R. Tripp, Wordz & Rhythmz LLC
Birmingham, AL

Vaccine, please...

Language

Vaccine, please consider the clouds which were the last thing she saw entering the hospital on the stretcher...

Sheri Sherman Cohen

It's the...

Language

It's the black box unbounded the memory of your baby sister in your arms while your mother worked of your darkened room of your frozen face before I realized I'd lost you of the chime of your return. It's the in between begone the half and half divided the co-host fielding questions while I whirled from face to face to face learning to memorize names by eyes. It's the return of color of matching lower halves of faces not what I expected that nose, that mouth, that chin. It's muscles remembering to smile to react to see you


Yorkville, IL

Dear vaccine...

Language

Dear Vaccine/Not all of us want you. We feel/too divided./Help us to see/all of each other/as the humans we are.


Vaccine, please...

Language

Vaccine please, come/two years early/find me in the wet grass trying/to find a signal while knotting/ a blade of grass/pretending my grandfather will call/out to me, pull my string/close to his chest/and pat my back before he leaves/cooling his chai/sending cloves and ginger wafting/in my hair. Come/before he leaves

Sonia

Vaccine, please...

Language

Vaccine, please help me everything exhausts me my brain is mush, my eyes dry and skittish, is there someone thee in the dark zoom? Nowadays it's so hard to teach through the screen, letters reversed spend and pictures distorted can you hear me, can you see this, hello?

Regina Nervo
Huntington Beach ,CA

It's the...

Language

You're my rebozo, a warm embrace around my shoulders on days my skin is lost in cold.

M. Miranda Maloney
Huntsville, TX

We liked / being able...

Language

We liked/ being able/ to sit on the bus, and stare/ at strangers/ their faces were /something else/ but mask / or not.// We liked/ being less angry/ about this, anyway// we liked/ each other more. /before. / We liked / believing / we'd all pull together/ in a real crisis/ we thought/we would.

SK
Chicago

It's the...

Language

It's the way we listen to each other now, listening for the refracted lens, Which colored shard are you viewing the world through? Mine is the color of hope, that this magical elixir will save our lives, and that it will heal the rifts between us. The eruptions exposing the fault lines we used to be able to casually stroll across, on our way to school, to the theater, to dinner with a friend. Vaccine can you heal that troubles stare across the subway car? Can you dissolve the toxic lies that rub salt in wounds we never knew we had? Please, Vaccine. We need to be inoculated against cruelty and selfishness. Help us heal the broken places and let us once more look into the eyes of a stranger and smile.

Amanda Gulla
New York, NY

Dear vaccine...

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Dear Vaccine,/ thank you for your sting/ of comfort. Thank you for rejuvenating/ that sense of hope/ and banishing the long laid dormant lockdown./ Thank you for sun-kissed cheeks/ and warm smiles. Thank you/ for building the bridge back home.

S. Marie Watkins
Lake Tahoe, California

Dear vaccine...

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Dear Vaccine,/ you played hard to get/ I tried to get a date with you online,/ no dice. Friends tried to hook us up, /but you were a no show/ finally, my husband (of all people) played matchmaker/ and we had our first of three meetups in a school gymnasium in a town I’d only heard of in the paper. It was hot, I got lost on the way, and the air was heavy, but on the way home I took a swim in a roadside pond. And it was deliious

Gail X
Worcester MA

Dear vaccine...

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I'm not sure you are listening, / but if you could lend an ear / so you could hear/ what my brother has been saying, / whispering, yelling, begging. / He uses words I can't make sense of. / Dear Vaccine, tell him I am listening / to the sounds of his heart, / but want him to hear what mine is saying; / I love you. I want you to be happy. / I want you to live.

Suezette Given
North Plainfield, NJ

We liked / being able...

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We liked grocery shopping/and people watching/able to amble through farmer’s markets and Trader Joe’s aisles/able to celebrate occasions/witnessing fleeting expressions

gdlc
LA, CA

Dear vaccine...

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Dear vaccine, i don't mean to be rude, but so many things went wrong. My elderly neighbors' were vaccinated, but heaven's door opened just the same. So I'm not praying to vaccine god's of grace. You've opened my eyes for sure, there's too- many-forever's to waste.

Poet: Kristina Mosley
Gary, I.N.

Dear vaccine...

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Dear Vaccine, (or rather four of them)...just one prick, (or rather four)...and I feel I've been given a sword and shield...there is no guarantee that I'll survive the battle...but like a medieval knight heading into the fray with the priest's blessing...at least I have a fighting chance.

Pamela
Campti, LA

We liked / being able...

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We liked being able to meet in person. To speak Kiowa. We miss our pilgrimage to Longhorn Mountain, where we thank our ancestors, pray, and pick cedar. We miss our elders, those keepers of sacred knowledge. So many great men and women gone too soon.