exhausted and going to bed

i bang out a long list of adjectives

pounding pen into paper

until i hear a ghost’s soothing laughter

a kind familiar voice

“i love it when you get angry”

by mary ann blinkhorn

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she puts down her pen at 5:30 a.m.

she picks up a hand mirror

suddenly there are no reflections

no remembrances

no bookmarks

nothing at all but fragile glass words

she leaves

walks to

the bank

the library

the drugstore

the supermarket

returning with only a few items:

one oil removing mud face mask

one audio book

some weekend cash

baby carrots

chopped spinach

bread

and a package of sunflower biscuits

the street is dark and quiet

except for a screaming man

across the street

in a bus shelter

his arms flailing

she walks faster

eyes scanning the immediate area

for signs of others walking

there is no one around

even the basketball courts

have no players

she looks down at her feet

new gray and white sports socks

orange Keds

she picks up the pace

eyeing the freshly-trimmed hedges

trimmed unevenly

the man’s screams

eventually drowned out

by a sudden surge

of noisy traffic

arriving home

she notices that

her neighbours’ children

are no longer playing tag

on the front lawn

though it is still quite early

such a strange night

passing through the lobby

she has a few words with security

requests that he make a phone call

on behalf of the screaming man

then heads upstairs

takes the staircase

hoping the six stories will benefit her

each with a beginning, middle and ending

but of course there is only a middle

she turns the key in the lock

turns on the light

undresses

puts on a soft night gown

makes coffee

reads about the benefits of white tea

takes her stomach pill

her pain pill

puts in her eye drops

sets the alarm for nine

knowing all too well

that she will awaken at

two, at four, then again at seven

or something like that

sitting at the table

she thinks of earlier on that day

how children had found a

well-feathered bird’s nest on the ground

how they had thrown it back and forth

laughing gleefully

as for the birds

come to think of it

she’d seen no birds at all

no gulls, no pigeons, no sparrows

no butterflies

only the tiniest of ants

feasting on bread crumbs

the words logical illusions

come to mind

she dismisses them

the words

logical exclusion

come to mind

she ponders this for a while

then stretches out

her head resting on a cold, plump pillow

she awakens at two

and again at four-thirty

her thoughts free

of all but fragile glass words

affair…”

“i’ never had one of those,” she thinks to herself

“if the required word had been faithful, i could have written much”

faithful…it has such a beautiful ring to it”

she ponders the next word, expectation

a tear falls from her eye

at least she has something to post now

by mary ann blinkhorn

Current Status

She lies in a hospital bed

feeling like salted pretzel

pinned to the sheets and mattress

by cunning catheter

and her wrist’s IV

 

Drip 2 3 4

Drip 2 3 4

 

Lips pursed

she reaches for pen in handbag

and then for a sequined note pad

 

Poet’s clock ticking

she attempts to navigate

the site of self

the sight of self

by jotting down notes

recording her consciousness

but pen is tired

 

Drip 2 3 4

Drip 2 3 4

No words

 

Nurse:  Would you like some pain medicine?

She:  Perhaps I should…

Ivy Wrist:  You’re not getting much sleep, are you?

 

She wishes it to be over

but it’s not going to be over

not until twenty-two more hours

when foley and packing

have been removed

and she can prove

to a nurse

that she can go pee

 

Nurse:  Don’t forget

No pushing

No pulling

No heavy lifting

 

The End

 

By Mary Ann Blinkhorn