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Tag: poems/poetry

Erasure

Thomas Nguyen ~

Consider what remains: chipped yellow
            paint, roman candles, wilted gardenias,
so many photographs. Accept that

time makes things distant, that his
            absence doesn’t bleed into your memories
as much as it used to. Try harder and

harder to remember the last time
            you saw him, cords wrapped around
his legs like snakes, all white

and black, hidden underneath
            neatly-pressed khakis. And

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Mosquitoes Don’t Know

Sandra Miller

Every evening at dusk
As the sun finally shutters its eye,
The mosquitos rise and sing
Their tiny tuneless song
Because mosquitos cannot know
They have only a few weeks to live and find us
They cannot grasp how we recoil
From their delicate voice and touch
Our skin surprisingly vulnerable
Our blood remarkably easy to invade

Maybe they enjoy the breeze

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A Day Out From the Nursing Home

John Grey ~

Your bones tremble.
Freedom no longer suits you.
Warm sun on skin feels wasted.
The smell of pine…
where’s that old familiar ether?
So many active people on the sidewalk,
behind the wheels of cars.
Who have they come to visit?

Your daughter grabs your hand,
tries to pull you back into your old life,
but it’s no longer known in

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Patient Belongings

Wynne Morrison

A man a few feet ahead of me
is pulling a rolling carry-on,
a clear plastic “belongings” bag tied
to the top by a white drawstring.

I can’t resist a glance in the bag,
like a stranger who wonders about lives
in the elevator or grocery line.
It holds some clothes, playing cards,

the ordinary things. And lying on its side
is a

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The Last Heartbeat

Cortney Davis

The minutes dragged. She worked at it–
sweat pooling in her frown, her lungs

bellowed in and out as if the air were oil.
Her expression never changed.

Beneath the light,
my mother’s skin looked violet.

I squeezed her hand,
pressed her fingertips, stroked the branching veins,

but…nothing. And so, good nurse,
I held her wrist between my fingertips and counted

one, two,

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The Home

Nolan Snider

People say it’s the last place
They want to go.
But when push comes to shove,
It’s the next-to-the-last place.
Although there are some who are
Ready to move on to that last place.
Others stay as long as they can in this,
The last place they thought
They would ever want to go.
Clinging on, year after year,
Staying here to

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Crazy

Ginny Hoyle

I walked through my mother’s madness
in a coat of hungry colors.
Her eyes did not take me in. I was a child.
To win her, I hung by my knees from low branches

of the family tree, voicing nursery rhymes
from the hallowed text of her delusions.
And failed.

When they took her away,
I was older, careful. I hid my heart

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Afflicted

Kristin Laurel

It is the night shift, and most of Minneapolis does not know
that tonight a drunk man rolled onto the broken ice
and fell through the Mississippi.
He lies sheltered and warm in the morgue, unidentified.

Behind a dumpster by the Metrodome
a mother blows smoke up to the stars;
she flicks sparks with a lighter
and inside her pipe, a rock of crack glows

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Chemo Brain

Anne Webster

Since a doctor gave me poison pills that left
my heart a swollen slug, killed off my bone marrow,
set my lungs to clamoring, I can get brain-freeze
without eating a snow cone. When I walk
my neighborhood’s knotted streets, lost drivers
stop to ask directions. After thirty years, I know
the pretzel-turns, but when they motor off, I wonder,
Did I say

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Falling Fifth: The Neurosurgery Patient and the Anesthesiologist

based on Robert Schumann’s Third String Quartet, Movement 1

Audrey Shafer

We meet in the holding room; a paper dress covers your tattoos

At any moment, your craze of fragile vessels
could spill, fill the sea cave cradling your mind

Your wife holds your hand until it is time for us to go

I guide you as you blow through a straw
swimming across your long day of surgery

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Perfect Timing

Linda Kobert

Monday, 7:30 am, DR two. I’m circulating,
the nurse who isn’t sterile, the surgical team’s link
with the unclean world. Before the incision,
I have ten things to do. I keep the list in my head:
check suction, position lights, turn on Bovie, toe
the steel bucket next to the surgeon’s feet.

The scrub nurse and I do the count: sponges, needles, clamps.
I chart

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Thanksgiving Dinner

Allie Gips

and for the third time my grandfather grabs the bottle of sparkling cider
and for the third time it is empty and for the third time his face falls
of all the things to forget this is not the saddest
he forgets how the trees are laid out in the woods behind his house,
forgets whether he took his pills in the morning, forgets to protect
my

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