To Ask to be Exempt Would be Unreasonable

A collection by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall

6 January 2021: To Ask to be Exempt Would be Unreasonable

“Death . . . comes for us all, my lords. Yes, even for Kings he comes…”
-St. Thomas More in Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons

A slip of paper, which I have since misplaced:

“SARS coronavirus 2 RNS
Me? But I’m special (my mother always said so)

“If you have a question regarding your…”
Well, no, I guess not. Time to pause and think
To ask to be exempt would be unreasonable
But will my corpse be stored in a reefer truck?

To ask to be exempt would be unreasonable
And so
What must I do in service to God and man?

Absent Friends and Failing Light

We all have lists of absent friends
Who were with us one week and Covid the next
With unfinished stories and little jokes
We meant to tell each other the next time we met

The very picture of health, we say to ourselves
Shooting a few hoops (“Yeah, I still got it!”)
Washing the pickup, coffee after Mass
Merriment – but then a note – in failing light

Life is shadowy, seen through a dark, dark lens
We all have lists of absent friends

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo…

They say (because there’s always a “they” to say)
That a new variant has come to harry us
With death, the fear of death, the denial of death
Even along crowded corridors of death

Where masses stumble over war metaphors
In the torchlight of perpetual outrage
While clenching fists and chanting molossus shrieks
In their world lit only by glowing screens

But you and I – we have our garden to work
Children to raise, and poetry to write

And God in Whom to trust.

(Molossus – the three-beat metre, not the dog)

Shouting Out Disease
“I want no more thinking!”
-Henry II to his barons in Becket

Soap for washing hands is not Republican
Eyeglasses never claim to be Democrat
Toothbrushes cannot be Communist plots
Antibiotics are not Nazi schemes

A pressure bandage has no Socialist leanings
Shampoo is not an expression of Fascism
Antihistamines never speak of the Falange
And nose drops never sing “The East is Red”

But when the topic of the Covid comes up
The flags are unfurled and the chanting begins

That Commie Covert Covid Microchip

My vaccination card is all complete
Two jabs for the immunity herd, so I’ve heard
And don’t believe that stuff about the chip
The microchip ratting us to the F.B.I.

No, not the F.B.I., nor the C.I.A.
Nor the jolly folk at the N.S.A. –
My microchip speaks to me in Russian
And I don’t understand Russian, so it’s okay

Thus not a careless word will ever pass my lip
About my commie covert covid microchip

The Lone Ranger Masks Again

When I was a boy I wore my Lone Ranger mask
I even wore my Lone Ranger mask to school
Where mean ol’ Miz Griggs made me take it off
But now I may (as opposed to “can”) wear my mask

Indeed, I must wear a mask, and so, ha!
Ya can’t make me take it off now, Miz Griggs!
I can wear my Lone Ranger mask, so boo-hoo!
Me and the Lone Ranger, we ride again!

Only…the problem is…I’m not in school


The Taste of Covid
“Never give in…”
-Mr. Churchill, 29 October 1941

Coffee is metallic, as is my morning toast
Most everything else is vague, fuzzy, and flat
As if the world needed a pinch of salt
And that’s okay; it’s good to be alive

They say that there’s another variant or wave
Named Mu or Omicron or maybe Bob
Slithering ashore through Grendelian mists
We take our jabs in defiance because

We all have casualty lists of friends we miss
That’s not okay, and so we will never give in

(Still, I don’t know why the coffee should be metallic)

What My Face Mask Signifies
A reflection on an excellent essay by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow

My face mask signifies nothing at all
It is only a matter of good hygiene
Like washing my hands and brushing my teeth
And eating a nutritious balanced diet

My mask is not an ideology
No more than my eyeglasses, hairbrush, or shoes
It is not a statement; it is paper on a string –
I simply want all of us to be safe and well

If you must find significance to construe –
Construe that my mask is to honor you

The American Scholar: What Masks Signify – Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow

COVID death toll higher this year than last – New York Daily News (

2 thoughts on “To Ask to be Exempt Would be Unreasonable

  1. IF the wear-a-mask order in airports and airplanes is to be lifted April 18 (it was extended from March 18), what’s one-day among friends, i.e. why not lift it April 17? And if a day or two is not significant, why not lift it April 15 (Good Friday)? It just so happens I have 3 connecting flights scheduled on April 15 which total, including lay-over time in airports, 23 CONTINUOUS hours wearing that mask! What’s few days among friends? Why April 18 and not April 15????????


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s