Letters July 23, 2020


A good friend of mine moved from Duluth to northern Idaho last summer, in order to be closer to her daughter. Idaho – a state with a Trump-supporting Republican governor who believed Trump and ignored the early COVID warnings. A state where some of the richer people in California fled from the early infections in their home areas, to their mansions on the ski slopes of southern Idaho, overwhelming the tiny hospital in that town when they brought the virus with them. The northern part of Idaho was spared – for a while.

At the time my friend moved, the pandemic was not on the radar.  I learned earlier today that she’s been exposed to the virus – at a local humane shelter. As I wrote to her, too many people in Idaho want to see themselves as “independent,” so you just can’t trust anyone there to know if they’re infected or not. So many people with an “independent” attitude, assume they’re not going to be infected, and then, they believe their assumption, rather than the scientific evidence. As I told my friend, rather than looking at, and checking out the first assumption, it’s always that second assumption that bites them in the butt.

And now, because she assumed she was safe at the shelter, and didn’t wear a mask, it’s bitten her as well. I would hope that people like this, wise up, and start believing the fact that the virus is not going away any time soon, and start taking the necessary precautions.  Their health, and mine, and my friend’s health, depends on it. I’ll let you know if this has a happy ending.

Gary Burt
Marble, Minnesota

Medical and moral problems

We have a medical problem and a moral problem. They do overlap in strange ways. The medical problem is very evasive and hasn’t been pinned down yet. It has elements of the grim reaper. The moral problem is more obvious and historical. It encompasses a change in attitude, and acknowledgement of the past. Curtis Mayfield sang, “People get ready!” Right on!

Gerald Norgard,

Bleeding and Disagreeing

make me not care:
please, start it now
i’ll blank stare it down
i’m so easily altered
by wistful worries
or neighbors knowing
like butter on warm corn
escaping a summer storm
why should i care:
things don’t feel changed
even if authority approved
nor do they alter at all
like screams out to sea
drowned out by laughter
its forces pulling back
until we all become spray
i can’t help care:
we are brave prophets
waiting in snail-slime lines
as progress slithers forward
under a crushing stack of news
and deeming useful goods
useless as we trumpet
together, we shall exceed
help me care better:
feeling the heavy truth
i ruminate a clear risk
of a sweet chance meeting
a funeral, some cheek kissing
to uplift a secluded mood
from cruel commentaries
of bleeding and disagreeing

Kimberly K. Kelly

A bowl of pudding

am in a bowl of pudding.
Do you think I will get out?

Will I be here this time?

This time next year,
will I be surrounded by
a thick goo?

The goo is of incompetence
folded gently into power,
comprised of solid madness,
ambition, and deception. This
pudding is sprinkled with mass
media edicts, conjecture, hand

The cook is in the kitchen
stirring the

C.L. Miner (native Duluthian)
Portland, Ore.