Diary: El Cajón de Grecia, May 5, 2021

The rainy season has started, tropical flowers are blooming in the garden.

We’ve now gotten our Covid vaccinations, as have our friends up here on the ridge. In a few more days it will be two weeks since the second shot and we’ll be as fully protected as we can be. I wrote a poem about the experience.

La vacuna (the vaccination)

Be here tomorrow 
one o’clock the voice said
Irina answering the phone
grasping the Spanish
your husband too
list starting with oldest
now reaching us.

Next day drive 
to the neighborhood clinic 
four klicks down the hill.
A guard at reception
brown shirt, black mask 
asks for IDs 
stacks them face down 
on the desk as he muffles 
go wash your hands
finger pointing 
to the sink at the back.

Old folks wait sitting
chairs two meters apart
outside, under cover
their faces, too
women well put together
in complementary colors
clothes veiling their bodies
men weathered, withered
wearing trousers, sport shirts
less carefully chosen.
A door opens, a woman
her largesse tugging 
her top of blue scrubs 
picks up the cédulas 
turns about, disappears.

The minutes pass
so too young women 
bearing babies
in their arms, their bellies
their clothes scant coverage
clinging to contours
as they stride the spaced crowd
to dates with their doctors.
The aide in blue finally
leans into the lobby
announces a name
and one after another
the called walk, shuffle
disappear through the door
at last a turn mine.

Down a hall to the left
a trim nurse in white sits
at a desk keeping records.
In a chair set beside 
we banter, a second 
behind mask appearing
a twin of the first
raises my sleeve
damp cottons my shoulder 
plunges a needle
plasters the puncture.
The first girl returns 
my ID folded in cardstock 
carné de vacunación 
noting date of first dose
and that for the second
three weeks later
same time, same station.

Inoculants are asked 
to wait in reception 
for fifteen minutes
to ensure no reaction
but rains early this year
thunder scattering fat drops 
and not having umbrellas
we hurry to the car
outrunning the deluge. 

That same afternoon
a call alerts Rick 
his appointment, next day.
I’m so happy.
I’m no longer afraid
he says to me after
I’m not going to die.

Photo credits: photos by IrinaCovid

El Cajón de Grecia, April 4 2021

I have a new poem for the holiday. It may even be finished.

A walk to the waterfall

In the morning we’re going 
to walk to the waterfall 
she says.
Myself, Marilyn, Paul, Shamroe.
we’ve never found the way
but Ligia will guide us.
Perhaps the hike 
will inspire a new poem.
Would you like to come along?
anticipating the answer.

Consider for a moment
the trek unfolding.
Girls together, in front
bubbling chatter.
Paul and Shamroe buddied up
talking whatever it is
that guys talk about.
The poet off
someplace else.

I think I’ll stay home.
Joe should be coming
to patch the portico.
Isaac will be here
working the garden.
Diego might show
to fix the clothes dryer.
And Marlene, it’s her morning
cleaning the house.
You all go along
have a good time.

‘Bye Baby she says 
from the driveway leaving
to join up with the others.
Joe had texted
he wouldn’t be coming.
Isaac had switched days.
Diego called to say 
he’d be here next week.
Marlene, she’s here
will welcome a ride 
up the hill when done.

The casita, the desk
on the screen a blank page.
In the loft, the kitty
awakes from her nap
slips from her pouf 
clomps down the stairs
hops onto the desk.
Her moist nose rubs mine
asking that her fur
thick and fine 
be brushed and picked
of burr and bramble.
She flops down purring
twists and turns
from side to side
the while flicking her tail
her task, licking
washing her ears.
Primping complete
she curls to a comma
at the corner of the desktop
and paw over face
her eyelids drop.

As soon as I rise 
from the swivel chair
Marlene near done
Viva quick stakes her claim.
Viva, Queen of the Office Chair
The portico now has a cap over the swimming pool

¡Pura vida! Enjoy the holiday.

Credits: Photos by Irina