Illustration © Eric N. Peterson


don’t be selfish: stay home

the sidewalks are empty at night
on my walks home,
but i am an essential worker;
all day long people are here
buying things they don’t even need
just buying out of boredom—
they keep getting too close,
a customer tried ripping the gloves off my hand
once as he grabbed his sub out away from me;
i gave him the dirtiest look i could
don’t want your virus should you have it
keep it to yourself—
don’t want to die or to hurt someone
i love because i am a carrier of the disease,
but people don’t seem to get the point;
refuse to see the whole picture insisting because
they don’t have covid-19 they can go anywhere they please—
selfish and stupid,
they only care about themselves;
maybe this is why earth is trying to thin the herd
only problem is
the innocent will fall prey and victim to this virus because
of the actions of idiots—
stay home,
it’s not that hard of a concept.


i’ve seen the worse

we wouldn’t be open
if it weren’t for people
who were bored
sauntering in just because they
have nothing to do,
we wouldn’t be open
if our corporation weren’t trying to
cash in on a global pandemic;
i have a lot rage for both corporate
and our customers that just don’t
care about us—
i feel safe at home,
but at work i don’t feel safe;
people get too close and they try to touch us
as if it is some sort of game
i wash my hands until they are red
otherwise they’re in gloves
to protect me from
some say this crisis has shown them the best
of humanity, but i have seen the worse;
just the other day a lady tried to accuse me of
stealing her cigarettes but i am one of the few workers
here that doesn’t smoke.


Linda M. Crate’s works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of six poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019). She’s also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018). Recently she has published two full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020) and The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020).

Eric N. Peterson is from Atlanta, Ga. He’s been drawing cartoons all his life. He leans towards the absurd, imaginative, and the surreal, as that’s where all the flavor is.