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In a moment

Posted by:
A COVID-19 vaccine.
May 10, 2021

In a moment

I take a breath,

Inhale through my nose

And exhale through my mouth.

The pain is sharp in my arm,

It takes only a moment before it subsides

And I continue to breathe.

They put the cold band aid against my skin.

I put my sleeve down

Continue to the next part of the line.

I begin to feel my arm sore,

A symptom,

I expected.


I close my eyes

I take a sharp breath

Underneath the mask,

Wonder why I don’t feel better.

Counting out fourteen days

In my head

The first day I will be able to see

Her in 15 months.

It will be Monday May 24th.


For the first time in a little more than a year.

I can enter my mother’s nursing home

Instead of passing by on the freeway.

I will breathe the same air as her.

I imagine under the masks

We both will sigh

Relieved to hear one another near.

I imagine the air will contain pain and laugher.

What will it feel like?


Feeling like it’ll be too late.

All the moments we lost


I am tired

This is not only a symptom


Counting out fourteen days

In my head.

I wonder if longing

Always hurt this way.

I am tired,

This is not only a symptom.


I am tired,

There are so many moments that will never be

They are lost in the air.


Dose two like dose one

Administered in a moment

The air that carries pain is also that one that carries laughter.


I take a sharp breath

Underneath the mask,

Counting out fourteen days

On my calendar.

I wonder if another

Symptom is longing

Not for the past

But for future.


There are so many moments that will never be.

This poem is about the moments lost and now being regained during COVID-19. Today I received my second COVID-19 vaccine, and I am both excited and nervous which I wanted to explore. I hope to convey the disorientation of hope for a future. There are so many things that are still unknown, and this poem was a way for me to envision one way it might turn out. In the poem I invite the reader to see possibility with me.

Elizabeth Elliott

CGE Intern

Studying Biology & Women’s and Gender Studies