Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Yesterday's News

They said I'd be back
on my bike in no time
after the knee operation,
but all I could see was a grey haze
stretched out over the horizon
like a Scottish moor or possibly
a giant spider's web, blocking
a future that no longer
included life as I knew it.

You're just nervous, they said,
but who can be nervous about
an eighth inch of cartledge
when you've had your appendix
taken , near bursting, after
a midnight vomit-hurling vault
to Emergency, or your uterus
ripped out of your body
and thrown into the bin
for discarded body parts.

I've never been back on my bike,
never returned to the old life.
Sometimes we sense these things,
know when the future lies waiting
with its sword drawn or perhaps
a soft fog to lull us, but nobody
wants the headlines ahead of time.
Best to wait till they're yesterday's news,
lining our garbage pails, and soft rains
bring only the good dreams again.


(Just accepted for publication in MEAT, edited by S.A. Griffin)

9 comments:

J.B. Rowell said...

Terrific poem Pris - the ending nailed it!

Pris said...

Thanks, Julia
The feedback helps. I was a little uncertain, as I usually am when I write poems about this illness.

J.B. Rowell said...

Although I knew this one was personal for you, I always approach poems as fiction, to give the poet space. I'm sure this was tough for you, but I appreciate the slight shift at the end - the hope, the optimism even?

Thanks for sharing this lovely poem.

Pat Paulk said...

Definitely don't want to read the "headlines" ahead of time. The ending is perfect, we always want the "good dreams again".

Pris said...

Hi Julia
I do appreciate that, though I know that many readers believe even my surreal poems to be fact. I prefer the ones about illness to stay at a distance from me.

and Pat, yes, good dreams are best.

thanks, both of you.

polona said...

i loe how this one builds up to the great ending.

Michael Parker said...

This is most excellent, Pris! Realization is the toughest medicine to swallow, as you well know. I'm so sorry.

Ellen M Johns said...

I love the reference to the "Scottish Moor" in this as I have seen many. Wonderful imagery.
Congrats on the publication of this fine piece of writing.

Pris said...

Thanks, all of you for commenting. Michael, I know you understand. Poloma, thank you. Ellen, I envy you having seen those moors. I've only seen pictures!