Vaccine

by Dale Jensen


when the virus had worn itself into history
the wolf emerged from his hiding place
and bought a trinket from the kid down the street 

someone had used chalk
to make a picture of paradise on the sidewalk 

the artist next door dressed for summer
summer was something the wolf
had thought had gone away forever
eaten by a microbe even smaller than a snowflake
but here it was    summer    or something like it
with not even any cold winds

the wolf didn’t need cold winds
this must be a dream after all that the virus
had done to the world the last year

if the wolf were asleep he’d have to turn over
but when he tried to turn over all he could do
was spin    people thought he was dancing
and started to dance too    soon someone
was playing music and the whole world thought it was happy
the wolf was happy too    vaccine
he didn’t even think of cows
or of lambs for dinner



Dale Jensen was born in Oakland, California, and has degrees in psychology from UC Berkeley and the University of Toronto. He has seven books and four chapbooks out, has co-coordinated several poetry reading series, and edited the poetry magazine Malthus. Arabella Luna Friedland is a visual artist and writer based in New York City. She’s influenced by a childhood with cartoons, a classical education in anatomy and life drawing, and a firm belief that all art — is a portrait.



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