A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
My friend thought to turn his horse into a therapy horse. Certify her. Trailer her to Addison County’s Porter Hospital, aka the University of Vermont Porter Medical Center. A new conglomerate. And lead her in. As if into the winner’s circle at the Kentucky Derby. Wearing her blanket of championship roses. A bouquet of perfume so strong, I’d feel I could rise from my death bed. Unplug my breathing tube. Eat anything I wanted to again. I thought I was imagining things. Hearing my nurse whinny. Feeling her wet nose under my pierced hand. The needles feeding me. Until I realized it didn’t matter what anyone else thought. If she was nosing my arm, nearest to the door. In this case, my left arm. Left being the side the poet, James Wright, in his poem, “A Blessing” (my favorite verse of all time) wrote in the lines For she has walked over to me and nuzzled my left hand.” He might have been remembering the night in Minnesota, he received his diagnosis. And told his friend, Robert Bly, with whom he had been out walking, Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota. Lines so plain I didn’t know, at first, I was living in a poem. Where a horse could have his shoes wrapped in blue, surgical paper. To be walked into a private room. So as not to damage the waxed floor. Or slip and break a leg. And no one would have to think of putting her down.
Copyright 2020 Gary Margolis
Gary Margolis, a poet, teacher and psychologist who lives in Vermont, is the author of five collections of poems and a memoir. His latest book Museum of Islands: New and Selected Poems is now available from Bauhan Publishing.