BY JERRY DREESEN
A POEM AFTER A LINE BY DONALD HALL
he uttered a noble sentence that dictated
the rest of my life: "It is my profession"
I read poetry in the car while I waited
for Sandy to complete Medicaid
paperwork for her mother's last
chapter in a long and arduous life.
It was a gentle day for March.
A cool, sun-covered afternoon,
a hint of April, a teasing that I
embraced drowsy and content.
It was Donald Hall's "The Old Life"
a spill of catharsis and grief
I purchased at Barnes and Noble.
A little profit made between tears.
Sixty-five and wired to a Holter
monitor that records events.
That's the key word: Events.
There are those that it can not capture:
the wrong word typed out like a seizure,
confounding the reader, a misdiagnosis;
an extravasation of meaning
and its subsequent burn that travels
to the heart and turns it to acid -
the alchemy of a seamless, smoldering affair.
It can not account for the pain of passion
that settles on the skin like a balm
soon becoming its permanent lining
so deeply embedded that every misguided
effort to remove it is pure agony.