The 2River View 26.2 (Winter2022)

Connie Post

In the Emergency Room on Saturday Night

On the wall, a red cord says
“pull for help” 

I tell myself to ignore it

after discharge papers are signed
I hold my husband’s hand
in the parking lot
I think I see the same cord
creeping through the cracks in the concrete
but soon realize,
it’s only someone’s lost

When I go to bed at 2 a.m.
I pull the sheets back,
again, the same cord
peaks out from the underside
of my pillow

I reach for it
but my hands turn to sand
and now I cannot tell anyone
that my hands are gone

when I close my eyes
I see the red cord
dangling from the inside of my eye sockets
taunting my frontal lobes

I count the times it sways back and forth
I count all the bones in my body

I pray to the sheets
that cover me
like a shallow grave
in the night

Three Months Since the Funeral

I made breakfast this morning
from your waffle iron

the batter hissed softly
as it met the grill

as I waited
I pulled out the butter and maple syrup
I played your favorite gospel songs
I heard your voice saying
“don’t keep me alive by false means”

as the weeks go by
I find ways
to clear out your house

I return to your kitchen
with an overabundance of canned cherries
and all the unused flour
in the cupboards

I have a long way to go
before I can donate all
the fabric
from the hall closet

but for this ordinary
Saturday morning
I return to making breakfast

I am squeezing the
juice out of an orange

I am folding in eggs
into places that remember you

I promised myself I would not
become bitter
I pour the juice down the drain

Connie Post has poems in River Styx, Slipstream, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Verse Daily. Her book Floodwater won the 2014 Lyrebird Award. Poetry awards include the Liakoura Award and Crab Creek Poetry Award. Her newest book Prime Meridian was released in January 2020.

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