Late August

Kelly Sievers, CRNA

Spring 2005 - Volume 5 Number 2

 

Sycamores are first to curl
and drop their leaves and "I sense"
dry, late August with relief:
the spot on my mother’s lung
is not cancer, just an idle
shadow slumbering. I welcome
dormancy, but set sprinklers
in my yard, watering burnt
hydrangea, crisp clematis.
 
Everywhere I look the world
is withering on spindly legs.
At work a patient recoils
when I touch her arm, "I will
take care of you," I tell her.
"Take care. Take care,"
she repeats. I give her
oxygen, parcelled doses
of anesthesia, unfurl her
twisted legs. Another patient
fingers a St. Teresa medal
pinned to her gown. When I ask
about daughters, she searches
trees outside the window
for ages, names.
 
In the market
a man cradles his
arthritic hand around a
peach. "Do they feel ripe?"
he asks. I find him

three perfect peaches

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