(A Pandemic Poem)
I risk a look of scorn or a sideward glance.
They will abandon me and never again take a chance.
I clear my throat rapidly, hoping they will not hear,
If I do this, they will become anxious and filled with fear.
I try to suppress it, but it is difficult to stop,
Maybe I could distract them if I only had a prop.
The feeling is overwhelming, and I cannot control it,
Maybe I can run away, but time will not permit.
I will be judged, criticized, and talked about,
Not by my actions, but what is coming out of my mouth.
If I cough, I will be deemed an outsider,
I will be sent home from work and cannot continue to be a provider.
If I cough, they will assume I have Covid-19,
but my throat is only ticklish after eating cheap ice cream.
Will I ever be able to cough again?
Will I be able to do so freely and keep my friends?
Coughing nowadays makes you public enemy number one,
life before the pandemic was so much more fun.
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