Jennifer Franklin: As Antigone
I will not walk away.
The moment the nurse
pressed your splotched
body into my arms,
your needs fixed my fate.
Cynthia Atkins: Hairbrush
He’d fall asleep on my chest, breath light as a falling leaf.
Now, he glides the bristles down my neck— He gently fluffs
the tufts, like airing the pillows.
Robert Wrigley: Self-Pity
Sometimes, in private—another room at least,
another building all the better—you can bask
in the balm and rage of it, you can as a dog does
roll in it like a dead fish on the grass
Laura McCullough: Another Winter Sunday (with passive aggression)
the diminishing body, wanting
any attention he can get
Gary Fincke: Anniversary
“Gary, just you wait,”
My mother promised me ten thousand times,
And I did until this moment, saying
That I’ve woken, love, to some happiness
Doug Anderson: We Get Old, We Get Sick
How we stumble, are glib
in the face of our fear
when we might show
our own raw heart
Robert Walicki: The Ride
I thought my grandmother was a badass
after arm wrestling me for a pack of Swedish fish.
Sydney Lea: Heterodox
A knows of B
That after grim chemo his hair came back
The doctors reckoned they’d licked his disease
Pauletta Hansel: Joy
When we finally sprung my father from the hospital
after days spent staring at the cardio unit’s
cinderblock walls the color of nothing
good, his joy could not be contained.
Doug Anderson: Illness
but being lost in the wind