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In the ED
By Linda Werbner
The list of maladies is long and varied:
belly button problem
altered mental status
“I feel like a helical structure detached in my intestines”
auto vs. pedestrian
A catalogue of curt and salty poetry
Each affliction will be addressed in good time
Most of the sufferers wait patiently, quietly in their numbered cubicles
A3 has a COPD exacerbation
A13 is psychotic, section 12
T1 is drunk. He’s here all the time
Most will be discharged home, wherever that is.
If they are tearful and distraught,
a social worker will be dispatched with empathy and warm ginger ale
and maybe a turkey sandwich if there are any left in the mini fridge.
17.7 miles away, you sit on the toilet in the morning
reading death poems written by long-dead Japanese poets
which I presented to you on the second night of Hanukkah.
Outside, approximately 32 feet from your toilet,
an adolescent black squirrel digs the cold, hard ground
the spot near the spruce tree where you left a pile of
hazelnuts the previous spring.
He is cold and hungry and pretty certain that this is the spot….