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, Terrain.org, 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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