Stopping and watching the leaves

(Cimbrian women)

I bought a big Christmas wreath today at a neighborhood Christmas tree lot. I was driving around the big shitty, thinking about the coronavirus and the vaccine and why people are so stubborn yet so hopeful and my tiny little mother mind™ whispered its disappointment in the spoonful of sugar mentality of my countrywomen and men who are most if not all all geared up to be cured by this thing and my tiny little mother mind™ is just sighing and trying not to let the old ghosts run down its labyrinthine corridors with all those little doors behind which are all those little experiences. My tiny little mother mind™ thinks gently about the idea of Terrible America being capable of pulling something like this off given what’s just happened in the last ten months, gently because twenty-five years have taught me to approach gently that which is impossible, the better to hold and bear it along with all the good and beautiful. Are you going to get the vaccine? people ask, and I say probably. My tiny little mother mind™ thinks of how the whole thing will be executed from the refrigerated trucks and holding areas the transport the syringes the needles the packaging the adjuvants the allergies the reimbursement the diagnostic coding the elderly the disabled the healthcare workers the side effects the senior centers the concierge doctors the public health clinics the lines at Dodger Stadium to get a Covid test my friend who’s suffering at home in Seattle with Tylenol the zealots for and against the lawyers the stock market the pharmaceutical companies the sports bubbles the $1200 charged to me for three Covid tests in July that were supposed to be free but slipped through that will probably eventually be covered but only after several hours of calls and more hours of paperwork and this is the way that it is but here’s hoping the sugar goes down easy on most with only a few this time sacrificed for the greater good. I wish that we’d come together as a country back in March when we knew, when we could, when we might have

stop —

I wish that Terrible America could have pulled itself together instead of surge upon surge waiting on sugar with the dumb (silent) hope of our birthright happiness

I took a side road home after buying the wreath. I drove a block and a wind stirred a few leaves in the street and they began to gather and were gathering ahead of me and falling down from everywhere all around me and rushing rushing on, an old man with a little girl on a bike were on the sidewalk their mouths were open and when I stopped the car to watch I thought suddenly (my mind’s recesses tiny vast) about the Cimbrian women of 101 B.C. who knew they would lose were losing had lost so killed all their children hundreds and hundreds of children and then one another, found strangled in one another’s arms.