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No gilded frame on this mind’s eye painting
of debris blowing down a city alley
gauze, bandages tumbling. On the corner sign: St Mary’s Hospital.

One, of two, respiratory therapists walk out
N 95’s safely retained on a bicep, ready to use again
they are sweated up even tho it’s not hot

cardinal wings look like lungs
the red bird doesn’t play well with others
nesting in bushes, unmistakable in antics
even so, flapping angry red wings at the impossible to avoid
at all the what is hard
hard to go to dancin’ in an isolation gown
hard to smile thru double-masked up in the Respiratory ICU
harder to read someone’s eyes thru a face shield
hardest to deal with the sweated up scrub suits under all that.

Burning, down the block, angry yellows and oranges
smell the obscuring greys and blacks of smoke
here in Greensboro’s place of some the originating 1964 protests

had the window glass broken in
the Woolworths store had become a museum to racial injustice
where the original four lunch counter seats enshrined

protests; nay, revolution; revisited like the terrible heavy horse
ran down the line of sword-holding infantry
as those armoured horse and did so long ago in Falkirk
equality the struggle then,
as well, the struggle now resembling the same then
as much as it is different now.

The deep desire of equality
that, that is found in each of us
the struggle against the oppression of tyranny

and yet, there is this struggle against pandemic
too, the microbiology is relentless
too, unavoidable the quarantine fatigue.

>>>a Cardinal is a dominatly red bird of North America,
and the State Bird of North Carolina, USA

Style / type: 
Free verse
Last few words: 
This is the third of my COVID ONE NINER series. This ant the previous two, ALPHA, and BETA, are getting published in next month’s “LIVE ENCOUNTER” online literary mag. I’m working on a fourth now.
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Explicit Content



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