Poetry & Art

Your Enemy is My Friend

I’m not sure if you quite understand
that vaccines have been around
for a long time.

You’ve probably had them.
You probably had to drag your kid
to the doctor before kindergarten,

before high school,
before eleventh grade,
to get them their updated

immunizations to keep them safe.
Because, you see, you care about
your children. You want them

to be happy and healthy. Right?
But now your children have children
and there’s a global pandemic

and you don’t want your grandbabies
to be forced to have a vaccine!
You don’t want your grown-child to

have a vaccine, either, because why be
safe when you can be free?
You certainly don’t want the vaccine.

You don’t want to be tracked (even though
you wouldn’t be). You don’t want to be
safe (you like living on the side of danger).

Why would you? How could you?
Anti-vaxxers, you claim, are just a bunch
of snowflakes. Then you act like this vaccine

would be the end and you don’t
stop to realize that you, too, have become
one of them. You don’t realize that

you’ve lived long enough to see a pandemic,
and that this is just too much for you to handle,
and that the truth is, you’re just afraid.

You don’t stop to realize that living in
your fear makes you act out, speak harshly,
hurt others, demand freedom.

Your fear is controlling you. It is making
you forget your humanity. Fear fills your mind
every moment of the day, so you slip

into denial. You pin the blame on someone,
something—anything but you. You just want
your precious freedom. No vaccine for you, thanks.

And trust me, I understand your fear. I have it
every second of every day, too, but there’s quite
the difference between you and me.

While you scream, pout, fight, and preach about
your freedom, your religion, what you want,
I stay home for the people I care about.

I protect the people I love.
I sit with my fear and become friends with it.
I allow my fear to empower me, fuel me, ignite me.

And then whenever my fear greets me,
I shake hands with it, acknowledge it, and watch
as it morphs into a pretty little flower in the palm my hands.

by Kristin Boyles

I'm a 22 year old college student that studies Creative Writing. I love going on walks in nature, reading, writing, and watching sitcoms.

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