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Life in the Time of Corona

Broken Destiny

Joe Howard

Joe Howard, a physician for 60 years, is a wanna be poet.

Creativity, what are your coordinates?

Brain centered, most likely.

Hyperbolic experiences

contrasted with apogees of daily routine.

Born of attitudes and longitudes.

Evolved by bodily touches with the world.

There, see the long scar on my forearm.  

A tendon severed; blood vessels broken, and a nerve interrupted.

The arm raised in protection

against a knife wielding drug idiot.

A keloid has formed like a monument

that covers the horrors of the attack.

I stroke the scar in times of worry.

Ever been in a riot?  

A world-class soccer match meant for

promotion of friendship through sport.  

The game’s outcome adverse to the sore losers.

My ears are pierced by screams of human rage and defense.

Several lay dead on the dusty bloodied ground

trampled by the running of the homo sapiens bulls.

I saw human torture in a book’s word picture.  

Gulag is its name and sounds its own anatomy.  

Ghoul, ugly, gallop, laggard, and lug.

It is the scene of soulless men with hot iron pincers

picking live flesh from a political victim -  

a hopeless reactionary.

My eyes have seen too much.

My haunted night unwelcome.

All in a coroner’s day –

the smell of decay from

forensics of a missing child.

DNA of tissue remains.

The snapshot of a unique life.

Now walking the halls of the nursing home.

Air filled with particles of foul urine.

I visit my mother.  

I touch her brow.

The feel of sandpaper

on worry furrow lines.  

Where am I in those creases?

I walk by a room on my visit.  

Hospice huddled with family

around a bed

obscuring the silhouette of the patient.

Human smells

mixed with medication odors

failed masking of deodorants.

The patient now ready

for opioid transport

to the ultimate garden gates.

No ticket scalpers there.  

And then there’s COVID-19.

It should be 666.

Invisible, deadly.

Suffocates from within

Makes clots without cuts

And suffocates from within.

And so it goes.

Good people

Bad things.

Fairness never found.

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