CALL LOUDLY WHEN YOU LEAVE
The nurse’s finger glides down the sick list.
She cannot locate my wife’s name.
As if I had asked for my lost sock, she stares.
All I do is recall calling for the location of my sock.
My wife did not answer. I called into a room,
got no answer. I called into another room.
No one answered. Having called in all the rooms,
I entered the garage and spotted a dropped saw.
No car. I imagined my wife sawing her hand,
pulling herself behind the driver’s wheel
before her finger drained. At the intersection,
every slow driver and every dawdling walker
delayed me from the emergency room.
Too proud among wheel chairs,
I turn from my nurse and turn to my truck.
My foot on the brake blocks imagination.
In the driveway, my wife waves as if she is a kid
and I am the ice-cream man. She holds a new blade,
proud of getting to the sale on time. Lately,
I have thrown soil on too many graves.
—from Rattle #26, Winter 2006