“Dispatch from a Pandemic: San Diego” by Jackleen Holton

Woman in Her Father’s Coat, Jan Price

Early March 2020

sam.coronaearthI drove to Tucson for my aunt Suzanne’s
memorial service. Got in Friday night,
tagged along with my brother and his fiancée

to the casino on Old Nogales Highway.
We ordered micheladas with Dos Equis,
not Corona. Staked out two satan-themed

slot machines and played them till we lost
everything we could stand to lose to the devil
in a diaper. I noticed one lady in blue latex gloves.

On Saturday after the service, I hugged everybody.
Then we all sat out in my aunt and uncle’s backyard,
ate Chinese food and homemade ice cream.

Later, I took my family out to my favorite restaurant,
the one with framed photos of Bill Clinton
and Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top on the wall.

I joked about how I couldn’t get through
a trip to Tucson without ZZ Top
putting in their two cents. And sure enough,

on the way back to their house, KLPX treated us
to a double shot: La Grange and Pearl Necklace.
I said goodbye that night,

as I planned to set off early Sunday morning.
I told them I’d be back, of course,
in three weeks for the wedding.

In the morning I drove home, that long
familiar road, listened to a trashy audiobook
to kill the hours. How about you?

What did you do with your last few days,
I mean, before you knew everything
would never be the same?


                                                                                          –April 3, 2020



Jackleen Holton’s poems have been published in the anthologies The Giant Book of Poetry, California Fire & Water: A Climate Crisis Anthology, and Steve Kowit: This Unspeakably Marvelous Life. Honors include Bellingham Review’s 49th Parallel Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Dogwood, Poet Lore, Rattle, RHINO Poetry, Salamander, and others.



Jan Price is not interested in drawing, painting, or soft sculpture unless they depict people. She sells her paintings at art shows; her art/greeting cards, through gift shops; and her art often appears in poetry journals. Jan also includes her art in self-created poetry books which she leaves on seats in parks, cinemas, train stations, cafes, libraries, and book-exchange venues. One of her latest projects includes photographing and painting people through water running down glass.  Jan also studies Thought Switching to help people with depression. This is her second artwork ACM.