September 14, 2008

Kathleen Walsh Spencer, MSN, RN, MA


He still wounds himself every day
for five decades now,
breakfast till bed, his index finger
spins tight circles at a spot
on his crown the size of a Cheerio.
Hunched over pancakes, driving
the toll road, typing with one hand,
the left hand always returns to his scalp,
elbow, wing of crow,
picking from road kill.

At fifty-five, hair wild and thick, he picks,
picks, then smoothes gray tufts
over the hurricane.

Half a country away,
she sees him in his easy chair, newspaper
spread on his lap, dog at his feet. Wounding.
Do dreams calm the fury?
Does a tentative scab lay down
in his sleep?

from Rattle #28, Winter 2007

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