At UC-Hospital for Our Covid Shots

By Robert Cooperman

Minus two this morning,
so I ram on my ear-flapped
Grateful Dead Dancing Bears
soft as lamb’s wool winter cap
that could keep me warm
in Siberia; hell, in Antarctica.

Our ancient Toyota starts right up,
so we breathe a pennant of relief,
and drive slowly over icy roads.
Inside the clinic, our masks on,
members of the staff stare and exclaim,

“Really cool, dude!”
I smile, thank them, knowing,
by now, not to play the pedant, with,

“You do know what
the Dancing Bears mean, right?”
Nor do I launch into my usual lecture
on the greatest rock band
in the history of the world.

While Beth receives her second shot,
another nurse waves,

“We’re everywhere,”
the secret password of Deadheads
and the music we love,
to make all three of us smile
with a bit more hope, that maybe,
we’ll get through this alive.

When the pandemic first hit, like a lot of other people, I was in a state of emotional paralysis.  My usual writing schedule seemed like a total waste of time.  All I could do was read and watch light mysteries.  As for listening to the music I’ve loved all my life (the Grateful Dead), that was impossible, frivolous.  But gradually, writing seemed essential again, especially to chronicle this plague and the country’s then president’s utterly vile response to it.  To paraphrase one of his opponents: everything he touches turns to feces.  But with the election and President Biden’s sane and humane approach to Covid, I began to feel more hopeful, was able to enjoy music again and to finish a couple of long term projects and to write about the response to the pandemic.  Hence this poem.

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jac carley
2 years ago

great description, keep up the music, keep up the vigilance. and actively supporting the biden admin — it ain’T over till it’s done …

2 years ago

We can’t let the pandemic dull our senses or silence our voices or diminish the bonds between Deadheads. Hurrah.

2 years ago

My, yes. Let’s get through this alive. Thanks for sharing the music

Poetry and Covid-19 ARCHIVE (This website archives the over 1000 poems submitted by over 600 poets, and viewed by over 100,000 from over 125 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, June 2020-June 2021). Thank you to all who took part in the Poetry and Covid project.

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