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Capers, Spinach,  
Black Bass, Yellow Peppers  

Lynne Thompson

I chose the solo road  
   wanted no one  
      saying you should

or this is the time when  
   or here’s where… Then

this virus, unlike any other—  

chicken pox, varicella—  

locked me—all of us—down,  

imprisoned us  
in similar cells,  
needing one another

   (although need is my favorite  

     avoidance.) Now   wanting,  

I go in fear of,  
have to ask  


   can you    will you    help  

and a friend brings spinach  

   and salty capers, black bass  

      and yellow peppers and  

comfort and be at peace and  

seven questions, all:   how is it ?


Lynne Thompson is the 2021-22 Poet Laureate for the City of Los Angeles and the author of three collections of poetry: Start With a Small Guitar, Beg No Pardon, winner of the Perugia Book Award and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award, and Fretwork.

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