#378: Poem on April 4, 2021

Happy Easter, friends, and happy 4th day of April, the 4th day of National Poetry Writing Month. Easter’s not a huge deal in my household. There’s candy around the house, an egg here or there, usually plastic, and filled with, you guessed it, candy. The real eggs are in the fridge and they are white or brown, as eggs are, completely in their natural element. Perhaps, for me, the most significant kind of Easter observance over the last 8 years has been the writing of a poem. Sometimes it’s Easter related, sometimes not. This year, the Napowrimo website sent us a link to a twitter account called “Liminal Spaces,” and from there it was suggested we could write a poem about one of those images. I checked them out. Many of them are super cool-but what was most interesting to me about the prompt was not the imagery from twitter, but this word all by itself. Liminal. Easter, I suppose, is a holiday in which the liminal could be celebrated. If you’re a Christian, the connection is an obvious one. If you are not, then the task becomes finding elements of the liminal in your own experience, in your own mind-life. That’s where we’re going today in my second poem about the COVID-19 vaccination.

Poem on April 4, 2021

As I have said,
and it’s worth repeating,
I’ve had my shots.
Twice I have stood
with hundreds of thousands
of people moving through a line,
like a fast moving concert queue,
or like a long line for some strange
kind of amusement ride,
a palpable feeling in the crowd
of sharing some pivotal experience,
one for which a little trepidation
is operative, yeah, because
no one really loves an injection,
but at the same time,
an overpowering awe for the
enormity of it all, the historic
nature of it, the profundity.
Hell yeah, it’s profound.
Everyone’s trying to be stoic,
but it’s easy to see behind those
serious faces (eyes, really,
because everyone is masked),
and maybe one thinks it can be seen
because one feels it bubbling up
inside: a tsunami of gratitude.
Especially as I snaked my way
through the second time, smiling
under my mask what must have been
the stupidest of grins, I felt on the verge
of tears. And when I arrived
at my ultimate destination
and sat down next to my administering
nurse, she seemed holy somehow,
and I loved her.
This is a liminal space.
If there ever was a threshold
between this place and that,
before and after,
then and not yet,
this was it, and I was
happy to be there.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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