Do the Right Thing, Friends
by Vince Gotera

Skipping wearing a mask? I can’t see why
anyone would do such a ridiculous
and inane, even insane, thing. Why not fly
with cardboard wings off the nearest precipice?

Sure, Baby Huey, it might/could work out.
And ducks like Huey the Babe don’t fly south
for the winter. Also Giorgio Tsoukalos,
the host of TV’s Ancient Aliens, sports

a buzz cut! C’mon, people, wear a mask.
Not for safety or because you’re afraid, but
rather because you’re a grown-up adult
and protecting other folks is your shared task.

Not masking up makes you look like a jerk.
Asymptomatic pandemic snowflake.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is a Pushkin sonnet (a form also called an Onegin stanza because Alexander Pushkin invented it as the base unit for his verse novel Eugene Onegin). It’s an interesting hybrid sonnet, beginning with a Shakespearean alternating quatrain (abab), followed by a Clarean couplet quatrain (ccdd), then a Petrarchan envelope quatrain (effe), and ending with a couplet (gg), which could conclude any of those three sonnet types. Wear a mask!

Gotera3 Headshot

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vince Gotera is a Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa, where he served as Editor of the North American Review (2000-2016). He was also Editor of Star*Line, the print journal of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (2017-2020). His poetry collections include Dragonfly, Ghost Wars, Fighting Kite, The Coolest Month, and the upcoming Pacific Crossing. Recent poems appeared in the journals Abyss & Apex, Altered Reality Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, Dreams & Nightmares, Ekphrastic Review, Philippines Graphic (Philippines), Rosebud, Stone Canoe, and the anthologies Multiverse (UK) and Hay(na)ku 15. He blogs at The Man with the Blue Guitar.