Literary Yard

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‘Covid card’ and other poems

By: J.K. Durick

              Covid Card

Even though most of the restrictions
Have been lifted I still carry their card
In my wallet, buried in there with all
The rest, my driver’s license, insurance
Cards and credit cards. It’s my “Record
Card” for Covid 19 vaccinations. First
On the list are the two big ones, the ones
I stood in line for at the fairgrounds and
Then the boosters, first a line in a meeting
Room in a hotel, and the last one rather
Unceremoniously at my doctor’s office.
It’s like a score card in a game, while I didn’t
Win I at least stayed in for the whole game.
I keep it near as if I’m afraid I’ll be stopped
And asked to show my papers, and there
It will be, a passport of sorts, another
Form of I.D. that carries its own weight as
I wander my way through this contagious
World, more to the point than hand washing
And proper mask wearing. There it is, here it
Is, ready to show in some line someplace and
I’m sure they’ll look it over carefully before
they pass me on to the next interested party.

        A Father’s Death

Off by himself, he looked at himself
In the mirror over the sink. He knew
The pain in his chest, his heart beating
Erratically. He knew the pain and did
What he usually would do, a pill under
His tongue. In the past it had been a bit
Of a wait for the nitroglycerin to kick in
And the pain to disappear. This time he
Felt something different. Like a dying
Animal going off to die alone, he even
Made light of the moment, said he had
To use the men’s room, even laughed
As he got out of the car. His wife and
Daughter didn’t need to know about
How he was feeling. They would wait
And they did. He never came out to
Them, slumped over in a state park’s
Men’s room, a place he went to avoid
The embarrassment of admitting to how
He felt. It was an embarrassing place to
die. My mother had to ask a stranger to
check on him, and what that stranger
found was the denouement of his story,
a story worth telling, and I do, and it will
always end with that scene, a scene that
he created by going off by himself.


“Invasive” is the adjective
they’ve earned
the way they show up
where they’re not wanted
crowding the natives
the desirable ones
as if they could replace
the order
we have established.
We try to weed them out
but they come back
time after time.
We gather them and
carry them off
before they put down roots
separate them
drop them off
over the line.
Some of them resist
play tug of war with us.
Some actually are pleasant
enough, but invasive
is invasive
and beauty never changes
things like this.
A flower or two
or attractive appearances
are never enough
as we go about this
our distasteful duty.

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