Today's poem is by Lucille Lang Day

Elegy for the Hall of Health
        1974-2009, Berkeley, California

Little museum with the heart that opened
to reveal its inner workings,
the multicolored brain with a cerebrum
fit for a whale, the lung box that showed
what cancer and emphysema
do to breathing, I remember
the field-trip chaperone, a mother,
who threw a full pack of cigarettes
into the trash as she was leaving,
the teenage girl who said, "Now
I think drugs are plain stupid!"
and the many children who promised
to wash their hands before eating
and finish their vegetables from now on.
I've kept a few mementoes:
two human bones,. a femur and patella,
extras for the leg bone puzzle;
an artery model clotted with plaque
and filled with red liquid
(lentils, representing red blood cells,
get stuck when you turn it
upside down to let them pass through).
My husband said I was nuts
to keep the artery, which is now
on a bookshelf in my office.
Perhaps I'll take it out to share
at dinner parties. I haven't
told him about the bones.

Copyright © 2015 Lucille Lang Day All rights reserved
from Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems
Blue Light Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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