Wisdom, Ace Boggess

Michael Diehl, Crimson and Clover




When we went to lunch yesterday,
both of us vaccinated, the third shot

a phantom sting that lingered in our arms,
I thought about how we survived

this long by shying from the society
of other hungry animals like us.

We preferred not to leave our cages.
We didn’t cross the street in front of cars;

climb slender, collapsing trees;
sit on power lines; seek to breed

as much as our biology demanded.
We affixed ourselves to love seat &

recliner. Invisible fences kept us in,
shocking if we tested borders.

Yet here we were, each having
pancakes at noon like children,

loving exactly what we loved,
not knowing what we didn’t know

about dangers of too much sweetness
or how any breath might be our last.

Ace Boggess


Review by Paul Willis

We are now drowning in Covid poems, but this one stands out to me in its unexpected sweetness.  When the cautious couple, now vaccinated, finally emerge from their home to savor pancakes in a public restaurant, as a reader I feel a great satisfaction right alongside them.  After first being vaccinated myself, I remember venturing out with my wife on a lovely hike in the wintergreen hills of central California.  This is something we could have done without being vaccinated, of course, but on our outing we both felt a similar surge of joy and relief as the couple in the poem, finally able “to leave our cages.”


Review by Steve Cushman

In Wisdom, Boggess’ does such a wonderful job of describing that freedom of feeling so many of us have post-Covid (if we are, in fact, living in a post-Covid world) of being reborn.  Two friends at a dinner seems a simple enough setting, but also appropriate as these two breathe in, and eat a little, of life once again.  Again, the end works so well here.

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