“Second Opinion” by Bill Glose

Bill Glose


Jackhammering woodpeckers search bark
for insects or sap; yellow-sleeved arms
of forsythia wave hello; a girl in pink shorts 
and pigtails chalks her driveway, 
a curious tongue peeking out the corner
of her mouth—each wonder noticed 
and reveled over on the long drive 
to the second doctor’s office.

We’ve dreamed this white-smocked sage 
will decry the first, sifting scans and charts,
shaking an error free from silt. He’ll point to it 
like I am doing now to the hummingbird
hovering impossibly at a feeder, 
lapping from a silver spout of nectar.

Not that we’ll remember it later, 
slouching up front steps, crossing
the living room and falling on the couch,
dogs with dire eyes lying beside us, 
the smell of something sour in the air,
and me, suddenly quiet, weight 
of every word like rocks on my tongue. 

from Rattle #72, Summer 2021


Bill Glose: “After serving in combat in the Middle East, I returned home with a lot of guilt and anger bottled up inside. Poetry provided catharsis, allowing me to explore my feelings and try making sense of the world’s senselessness without needing to rip someone’s head off. When my girlfriend was diagnosed with lung cancer, poetry gave me a haven to reveal my inner thoughts and fears during the dread-filled months that followed.” (web)

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