Saturday, November 28, 2015

Third November Dream


We had to move the heavy beam
Out through the door.  “Who can
Lift the end up over the sill”? He
Waited for an “I will,” but no one
Spoke.  “Look at you, the leader
Said, “strong arms and back.”
“I’m much too old,” I coughed

In an old and querulous voice.
“Then who,” he asked looking
About, stamping a foot.  “Hurry!
We need to get the gurneys out
Before it all comes down.”  I
Looked doubtfully at the beam,
Never having seen one so big,

But kneeled beneath it and strained
Upward.  “It’s not moving” a doctor
With a weak back observed.  I
Strained again.  “He’s not strong
Enough,” a slender-wristed male
Nurse smirked.  With all the anger
I could access, I heaved the beam

Up over the sill so the nurses and
Doctors could slide it out into the
Hall.  They rolled it to the side
And as I lay panting, rushed back
For the patients.  A gruff
Administrator said, “you’ll
Have to move.  We’ve gurneys

Coming. I could barely stand,
But stood and limped out to
The parking lot to my Jeep
Where I sat a long time
Watching the darkening skies,
“One earthquake after the other,”
I heard a woman say to her friend

As they rushed past to their cars.
“Do you think it’s global warming
Or end times,” the other asked?
I turned my key and drove out
Finding my way to the freeway
Which showed no sign of damage
And drove home.  “Don’t jump

On me,” I warned the dogs.  I’d
Been gone too long and couldn’t
Prevent it.  Taking four
Ibuprofen I stood in the shower
A long time.  I needed to feed
The dogs. I needed to sit
A long time in my lounge chair

Thinking of nothing if I could,
Doubting it.  They were done
With both of us, first Susan
Then me.  Marx would be
Proud.  Her sacrifice, my ability
To lift the beam, all those needy
People rolling past.  The dogs

Looked up from their kibble.
I knew they wanted dried chicken
Strips.  “Each according to their
Wants,” he should have said, and
What if I wanted her again
Whose shadow would never
Again grace my sleeping face?

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