A Shot In the Arm



But I’m a lefty!

I’m only six!

Stick it here!

(What a giant needle!)

It burns!

On the radio

it was all about polio.

They tried to wheedle

me into getting it.

I said no.

That needle was hefty!


What have I signed up for?

–Yellow fever




The State Department knows best.

The Peace Corps knows best.

I’m lefty, you know.

Again, ignored.


My left arm is going to feel

like she hit me with a baseball bat.


Ginny’s looking.

I’m grimacing.

Shots, I’ve always abhorred.

Showing fear I’ve always deplored.

Better now.

Sang-froid, restored.


Her damn dog

bit my calf!

I screech my bike to a stop

skid it sideways

confront the beast.

I glance at my bare bleeding leg.

She assures me her terrier had his rabies shot.

I got that shot for the Peace Corps!



tetanus shot

Yeah, it hurts.

Monitor the site

of the monster’s bite.


Charlotte’s eye inflamed;

Nancy’s face swollen.

I’m getting my shingles shot

no matter what.

Gruesome neuropathy.

I am willing to pay the $200, cash,

I exclaimed.


This is the third time

I’ve been hauled out of my school.

After I threw up

in the faculty bathroom,

Al, my former student,

IT manager and certified EMT,

called the New Milford ambulance corps.

X marks the spot.

Dubious lungs

found by the ER doc.

Of course, I want the pneumonia shot

AFTER I’ve had pneumonia.

Shoot me up!


Do thirty flu shots count,

poetically speaking?

In the petri dish

known as a high school,

the boys are very dainty–

they wipe their snotty noses on their sleeves

BEFORE letting their homework float onto my desk,

barricaded with Kleenex boxes and bottles of hand sanitizer.


Infected be the air whereon they ride,

and damned all those that trust them!

Simultaneous instruction

in sanitation and Macbeth,”

I yelled with elation.


I need a vacation.



“Gimme your best shot!”

We only have Pfizer.

“Just follow my plot

you’ll be none the wiser.

You know, I’m a lefty.”

Insurance cards, please.

Follow the attendant. This way.


If thou couldst, doctor, cast

the water of my land, and its disease

and purge it to a sound and pristine health,

I would applaud thee to the very echo,

that should applaud again.”

I’m not a doctor.

Roll up your sleeve.

Yes, the right one.

“Will it hurt?”

I’m done.

Just wait fifteen minutes.

You may have side effects.

Sore arm. Fever. Chills. Fatigue.

I have almost forgot the taste of fears.”

Have a nice day. Next!

Your second shot in two weeks.

We’ll text.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.