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  You could have a big dipper   

The Prettiest Vector by Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb

They rush in like antibodies,

considered the good folks—

once, wearing badges, blue,

dutifully apprehending

a screaming schizophrenic

pacing the town square,

not aware he is a regular,

annoying but harmless—

six armed officers, one so

very young and pretty,

charming, disarming smile;

no safe distance here.

“Did that man assault you?”

concerned, she approaches

my six-feet-apart walking

partner and me, coming up

so close I can feel the spray

from her cough; viruses

know how to get us

to let down our guard,

how to turn our cells

into slaves, take over

DNA, such an easy task.

She wears no mask,

and I am acutely aware

there are scarier things

than mentally unbalanced

but familiar souls; at least

they’re somewhat predictable,

and you don’t have to wait

five to fourteen days

to know if you were attacked.


Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb’s poetry has appeared in About Place Journal, High Desert Journal, Poetry Hotel,, Sonora Review, The Midwest Quarterly, and elsewhere. She holds an interdisciplinary MA from Prescott College and is co-founder of Native West Press. She is particularly fond of spiders. Her chapbook, Shapes That Stay, is forthcoming (Kelsay Books).

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