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.
Chilled plums and
we tongue at the
between lip and gum,
cleansing palates, but
mind the gritty crunch
of leftover grains
mixed in mouthfuls--
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
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?