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Behind the Eight Ball

A Poem by Dr. Barry Lubetkin

I took the booster shot


Six months to the day since the last.

Not eight.  Damn eight! Why eight?

Vaccine immunity is waning NOW!

Delta is surging NOW!

The vaccine is less effective for the less-than-healthy and old from the start. We weren’t told.

Explain eight NOW!

The White House and CDC are out of step. Who leads whom? Inconsistent messages.

Israel jabbing arms with boosters months before.

My faith and trust are being tested.

Breakthroughs used to be joyous. My kid getting math.

My patient understanding, after months of uncovering.

My favorite ballplayer slugging his way out of his slump.

Breakthroughs terrify now.

All around, they seem to be happening.

Sorry, Doc. Doesn’t help to know that I won’t die.

I did it all the right way! I masked...I scrubbed my hands...I stood far away from people I love…I sweated out getting that first vaccine.

And now I’m told wait eight months.

But wait!

Perhaps my impatience is self-serving and premature.

In the Bible, eight represents hope and new beginnings.

Jesus was resurrected on the eighth day.

The menorah burns eight candles for Passover.

Jung defined eight personality types.

Yikes! I cut the line in defiance of the mystery of the number eight.

Now I’ve seen the light!

I promise to make peace with Dr. Fauci and his eight months,

I will manage my fear and not let it drive me.


Barry Lubetkin, Ph.D. is the co-director and co-founder of the Institute for Behavior Therapy in New York City. The Institute for Behavior Therapy is the oldest private cognitive behavior center in the United States.



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