Shake Hands with Life by Jacqueline Jules

Toss the hand sanitizer.
Eat the dropped cookie. Kiss
a snot-nosed child on the lips.

You have T-cells
ready to battle bacteria,
defy diarrhea, cancel a cough.

Your blood pumps
an army of millions,
soldiers waiting to gobble
invaders on contact.

Trust your chances to resist
germs flying like bullets in classrooms,
theaters, nightclubs, the street.

Don’t be a victim, too timid
to shake hands with life.




Jacqueline Jules
Jacqueline Jules is the author of Field Trip to the Museum, a collection of narrative poems in the voice of an 18-year-old girl who travels away from self-destructive behavior to a new understanding of herself. Her poetry has been published in numerous places, including Germ Magazine, Cicada, YARN, and The Poetry Friday Anthologies. She is also the author of several books for young readers. Visit


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