I’d sneak off to the creek—the one my mother knew
Was plagued by polio.


Its bank was my nest where I gathered my twigs &
Sticks, my thoughts and...

The cold gloomy days magnetized me.
I was 8 years old and believed in

Most everything nobody told me.
I sat cross-legged quietly overlooking

The water and believed in God and all
They said in my Sunday pamphlets.


I believed in 5:47 p.m. the hour my sister was killed
By a drunk driver. That afternoon—
I ran all the way home
In my leg braces and floated up to sleep
In my iron lung, pills in hand. Higher & higher
& higher into the black.

Published in the March 25, 2016 issue: View Contents
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