Imogen Rosenbluth

Cortisone

On Injection Days, I drink a nice

cup of tea, eat breakfast, rise.

Not in that order. It becomes rote,

Like the way my core aches,

muscles spasm and tire

so easily-- they call it high tone,

as if I am an alarm, some sort

of annoyance. Treatments sire

more treatments, different, until I’m torn

between hospitals, appointments, sent

for prodding until I am more sore

than I had been, craving clinical rosin

to coax my joints again to glide: cortisone, cortisone.

Beach Scene

Chilled plums and

sunsoft cheddar;

Before, 

we tongue at the 

sand stuck 

between lip and gum,

cleansing palates, but 

we more-than-don’t

mind the gritty crunch 

of leftover grains

mixed in mouthfuls--

pleasantly unavoidable 

in the way 

most things aren’t

Michael Jurist, Soon to Be Dead

We have pictures of it somewhere--

(Is it because he knew

I wouldn’t remember?)--me

in his arms, bleary and womb-sticky,

his eldest grandchild

(not counting the daughter

of his disowned son).

 

Certainly by my formative years,

he had exchanged “grandfather”

for golf and sex. 

I had nothing to offer him that he wanted,

ergo he had no reason to invest in me.

He balanced his relationships

like checkbooks.

Never allowed himself to

owe anyone anything,

and that is how he will die:

debt-free, and alone. 

 

My mother calls from the hospice

where I won't visit him.

He wants me to know

he loves me.

 

Doesn’t death make us say

the wildest things?

THE COURTSHIP OF WINDS

© 2015 by William Ray