The First Pandemic Summer

Scenes of crowded beaches.
What are people thinking?

It’s like watching Jaws!
No one pays attention to details.

Social distancing and face masks
are not optional choices.

These are the fashion “Must haves”
in order to survive.

“Six feet apart or six feet under”
isn’t a game. It’s a strategy.

It is a real outcome, a warning
that’s become the rule, not the exception!

This is not a game.
It is real. It is NOW!

God sighs,
impatiently reminds

that we live not as Gods
but people who believe in God.


For Those Who march in the Face of the Pandemic

For those protesting now
in the streets
fighting for justice
and equality,
giving voice to those
denied equal access to life,
liberty, and the pursuit
of good health ad happiness.

I pray for your safety.
March forward
but wisely.
Exercise all precautions
to avoid the virus
that can be used
to silence you.

March abiding by the rules
of social distancing.
Do not allow yourselves
to be crammed into
tight quarters
on the streets
or in holding cells.

Wear masks,
but don’t be sitting ducks.
Mistaken identity
continues to be
the number one cause
of death for people
who look like we do.

The mask that saves one life
can quickly become
a reasonable justification
to end another’s.

Suddenly it feels
like you need a note
to cross the street
to live here,
feels like apartheid.

Be wary,
I fear the mask
has the potential
to be the newest weapon
of mass destruction
for those looking
for a reason to shoot.

But remember
there are allies,
sometimes in the most
unlikely places.
Look beyond the mask.
There are those who seek
and will fight for equality
and social justice for all.


Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers. A lot. Her column appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.