Vaccine

By Naomi Shihab Nye

Save us, dear vaccine.
Take us seriously.
We had plans.
We were going places.
Children in kindergarten.
So many voices, in chorus.
Give us our world again!
Tiny gleaming vials,
enter our cities and towns
shining your light.
Restore us to each other.

We liked our lives.
Maybe we didn’t thank them enough.
Being able to cross streets
with people we didn’t know,
pressing elevator buttons,
smiling at strangers,
standing in line to pay.
We liked standing in line
more than we pretended.

It’s a quick prick in the arm
You’ll barely notice it
It’s the gas in the car
Getting us going again
It’s the turn in the road
Face-to-face conversation
someday soon?
It’s the hug. Forever,
it’s the hug!

Vaccine, please make the air clean!
We went to yoga classes,
deep collective breathing,
in small rooms in cities
where we didn’t even
live! How brave we were.
Vaccine, please.
Restore our lives.
Believe they were beautiful.