Painting quickly, still a little weak
from my abysmal bout with Spanish flu,
I stare with baggy, bleary eyes. I streak
a bilious green around my mouth, gray-blue
along my jaw, vermillion over brows
(the fire of my fever) and a brown dent
centered in my forehead. This flu allows
reprieve but hereby marks me to repent,
confess. My health has never been robust
and I am nearing sixty. What right have I
to live? What kind of God would entrust
health to me while letting millions die
when in their prime? I can only pray
this menace will not strike another day.
Barbara Lydecker Crane
Barbara Lydecker Crane, a finalist for the 2017 and the 2019 Rattle Poetry Prize, has won awards from the Maria Faust Sonnet Contest, the Helen Schaible Sonnet Contest, and others. She has published three chapbooks: Zero Gravitas (White Violet Press, 2012), Alphabetricks (Daffydowndilly Press, 2013), and BackWords Logic (Local Gems Press, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Ekphrastic Review, First Things, Light, Lighten-Up-Online, Measure, Rattle, Think, Writer’s Almanac, and several anthologies. She is also an artist.
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