Monthly Archives: May 2021

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 local health clinic 
four klicks down the hill.
A burly guard uniformed
brown and black at the gate 
asks for identifications 
stacks them on a table 
mouthing a muffled
go wash your hands
his finger pointing 
to a sink at the back.

Old folks sit patient
chairs two meters apart
outside under cover
touching with neighbors
eyes alive above masks
the women well put together
in complementary colors
clothes cloaking their bodies
the men weathered, withered
wearing trousers and sport shirts
less carefully chosen.
A door opens, Elsa
who rules at reception
largesse straining 
the top of her scrubs 
crosses the lobby
picks up the stack 
turns about and retires
eyes flashing a smile
reign softened by
Irina’s chocolate chip cookies.

As the minutes pass
so too young women
stride the spaced crowd
to dates with their doctors 
bearing their babies
in arms, in bellies
their clothes scant coverage
clinging their contours.
Elsa at last reappears 
to summon by name
and one by one
the called walk slowly
or shuffle clinging to an arm
disappear through the door
finally a turn mine.

Down a hall to the left
a nurse trim in white sits
at a desk at the records.
From 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 
ID folded in a cardstock 
carné de vacunación 
noting date of first dose
and that for the second
in exactly three weeks
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 sooo happy.
I’m no longer afraid
he says to me after
I’m not going to die.

Credits: photos by Irina