Today's poem is by Sandra McPherson

Post-op, Medical Humanities

Compared to my husband's kiss
during a camera's long violation
of the nautilus
membranes of my inner Cinerama,

this procedure is brief
and the nurse has studied haiku.
The surgeon's
written children's books,

so read me to sleep, make believe
to numb me. The society of my big toe
scrawls and hews and will mend,
but with no kiss to spellbind.

In eight weeks, though, the M.D.
surprises me with a hug.
We schedule my second healing
arthrodesis at the dancing axis

of a leg. Again I feel love:
it's for a hurt fish foot in a net,
scaly and violet and gill gold,
a fetish of his memory.

Wife of the perished,
mugged by sutures,
in dreams and under anesthesia,
I offer my arch to caress, extend the original

kiss back to his ghost's dazed pain.
Beyond medicine, he passes me
his opus-in-draft
of the poem of heaven

trailing like loosed dressings
until I can stand,
as knit and as alone,
as his last last line.

Copyright © 2009 Sandra McPherson All rights reserved
from Northwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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