Invasive

I never grew Virginia creeper,
this twining shiny vine rapidly
unfurling its five-leafed bouquet,
yet it crept into my garden, stealthily
wrapping its strong tendrils round
stems and bushes and trees
in lusty demanding embrace,
attaching onto the house foundation,
embedding

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My Boy Goes Out for Sports

This boy of mine tried
to be a sportsman.
Jane and I watched his team,
heedless ducklings clutching
plastic bats behind the T-ball,
the ball up high, right there
where they couldn’t miss it,
but they did. When shouts from

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Pharmacy Visit

You are a big man, a little heavy, but nothing
that can’t be fixed by daily, brisk walks
or swept away by a
dose of cancer and a blast of treatment.
You have been called from your glass enclosure
to help me.

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Making Her Night

In Central Park twilight,

we drop our holiday mood
like a heavy sweater in the heat
when that call sends us reeling
as leukemia sucks us
into its bell jar, rings
our ears, jangles
minds, reverberates
into bone.

We can’t

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The Journey

My first day on the wards,
the senior resident handed me a white coat
emblazoned with the twin serpents of Asclepius,
and a stethoscope I proudly draped around my neck.
I thought I knew everything
about the dying patient assigned to me.

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Ode to the Uterus

They call it

A woman’s coin purse
Buried away like an afterthought
In the folds of her body.

But hers is a feral little thing
Throwing away angry outbursts
With the tide of each moon.

It scoffs at being
Belittled

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Heightened Awareness

No power-down switch to arrest
That incessant activity of the mind and senses
Not even for our wedding anniversary
Getaway.

At the airport my eyes reflexively dart
From the cashier’s cheery smile to fix on her arm
Laid bare by her Dunkin’

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The Last Call of the Day

Mark Knudson ~

Why is it always the last call of the day,
Bag packed by the door, and sometimes I’ve even put my coat on,
And then I know that I have to make the call.

If I was smart, I’d schedule a visit, have

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Carpe Diem

Johanna Shapiro ~

After my husband’s ocular stroke,
we wondered about the risk of a “real one.”
“Significantly increased,”
said the busy physician.
“What can we do?”
“Take a baby aspirin–
and live life to the fullest.”
We took this prescription to the pharmacist,

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laughter po prn

Slavena Salve Nissan ~

if you happened to pass by room 2
in a medical practice somewhere uptown
some time in the spring
you would’ve heard
laughter
a medical student and her patient
giggling like toddlers
right in the middle of the

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What They Don’t Tell You


Meg Lindsay ~

After 10 days in a hospital
you regain the ability
to walk albeit with a cane so I put the commode
out in the hall as you are laughing a bit more,
the gleam back, but the chemo starts
and

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