Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Gary Margolis: I was Living in a Poem

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.

5 comments on “Gary Margolis: I was Living in a Poem

  1. Jeanne Comeford
    July 31, 2020

    Sweet. I appreciate this so much today. I like the reference to James Wright too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kim4true
    July 23, 2020

    Perfect. Animals often make the best nurses, and I love the mental image of the horse in the hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jose A Alcantara
    July 23, 2020

    Fantastic! Beautiful! A blessing!
    You haven’t wasted your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Philip Terman
    July 23, 2020

    Wonderful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on July 23, 2020 by in Humor and Satire, Poetry and tagged , , , , , .

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