Winter 2013 - THE POTOMAC

Greek Chorus

   Helen Peterson

Doctors weep and gnash
their teeth over my age, potential
radiation overload, pat my shoulder, whisper
“I don’t want to hurt you”
then push me out the door, doped
up,  into the arms of another urologist,
nephrologist, (psychologist?)

Meanwhile my life
passes overhead, children grow tall
and distant, ex-husbands falter
and crumble under raised expectations;
lunch dates cancel, poems go unwritten,
in a gallery blessed with the humor
of a soliloquy to fools and reality
TV,  and there’s an empty seat
within the comfortable solidity
of a full house.

There are hospitals in Boston,
right? Throw an IV in me, silence
the sirens, roll me out, keep the engine
running. Let me hear dire words spill
from the mouths of poets and madmen
before a surgeon lets the quality pour
from my back with a well crafted incision.

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