THE KING OF POETRY

 

Weekends I visit Ed in the rest home,

Some days are better than others

For both of us. I tell him

I slipped on the ice last night

Walking to my car after working

In the snow for nine hours

Picking up and delivering two

Truckloads of furniture. I thought

My ass was kicked until I saw my feet

Going up as I was going down.

It was the punctuation point

I didn’t need. Ed knows all about

Getting and not getting what he needs

And doesn’t need. He says

He can’t think or remember anymore.

I tell him he looks good with his beard

Trimmed and his ears lowered.

He tries to stifle a “don’t patronize me”

Glance by saying, “I look like a groomed

Whale.” It’s true, he’s grown into his

Oversized wheel chair, and has to wait

For the machine, the lift, to get him

Out of bed or onto the toilet.

It’s bitter irony he says to end

The trip as an enormous baby—

Diapered, handled, and fed—to cry

Out in bed like his roommate

Trying to make a die of it, wanting

Help and not having much luck.

Depressing, yet oddly enough

I feel better about being stove up

(And walking away from here to scribble

My little poem down) as I watch

The old miner king of poetry,

Wearing his Irish tam of a crown,

Being hoisted onto his throne once again.

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2 Responses to THE KING OF POETRY

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