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Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Wait

Ropes and stanchions keep the lines in order
as if the people are going out on a Friday night
to see the latest blockbuster at the Regal Cinema.
Women at the front desk sit in their little windows
like the workers at Motor Vehicles, only they smile,
speak in quiet, calm voices to ask if you need help.
Dozens of people fill the expertly arranged chairs
like an airport terminal but no one has baggage.
They wait patiently to hear their names called by
sweet voiced young women in pastel scrubs who
remind me of the hostesses down at Olive Garden.

In the back, the machines await, its 21st Century
medicine at its best- sonograms and mammograms,
CAT scans, MRIs, your basic x-rays machines too.
By this time next week, the waiting room people
will know if it’s a boy or a girl, if a lump is dangerous,
why they have frequent headaches and blurred vision,
what kind of operation will their knee require next,
or how bad is the blockage in the coronary arteries.
For now, all they know is that they must wait for
their names to be called, wait and fill out the forms,
wait for the technicians, wait some more, and worry.

Friday, April 3, 2015

SHE DIDN’T WRITE ABOUT

how pink smells like pretty flowers,
how it feels like butterfly wings or
that it tastes like cotton candy and
it doesn’t remind her of Barbie’s car.

Instead she writes hers about a ham.
It is pink, cooked with yummy pineapples,
honey and sugar stuck all over the top.
I tell her she kind of missed the point.

Later, as I collect papers from the class
she tells me why her poem is about ham.
No one ever made a meal that I asked for.
This Sunday, my grandmother is making
ham because I told her I like it so much.

I don’t see my mother much anymore.
My parents are really my grandparents.
The others all have moms and dads, so
I never told them. I tell her it was the same
for me growing up, but it was my father
who I never saw. Smiling now, she tells me-

“And I always thought I was the only one”.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Shake the Salt on When She’s Not Looking


to avoid her high blood pressure lecture.
If she sees his red eyes, she’ll say it’s a sign
of a health condition. She’ll insist on making
an appointment for him, he’ll say he’s fine-
Those doctors always find something wrong
and I’m not ready to hear bad news just yet.

He thinks they’d try to give him a prescription
and he’s afraid he’d have to go back every few
weeks to piss in a cup or get stuck by a needle.
Lately, he’s had tingling in his toes, now and then
there’s been those sharp jabs in his right side and
sometimes it’s like there’s a weight on his chest.

He’d agree to go in for a physical but knows
they’d tell him how he needs to lose weight.
Maybe he’ll go this summer, he’d consider it
if she makes sure the appointment is with the
big heavy doctor, you know the one who’s always
in the parking lot smoking cigarettes by his car.