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Opportunities seized

My nurse friend said,
“You know, Peter, you have
a pretty good life”
and I guess she’s right—
I’m comfortable, well-paid,
respected and even, by
some, well-liked

So if I’m yet to relinquish
childish visions of unending
love and sweet earthly paradise,
so what? She and I tried but
couldn’t find a rhythm, the right
electricity, that goodly earthy sync
and give and fiery sexual prism

For that old curmudgeon politico,
Dick Nixon, truth became a kind of hate
When Eugene McCarthy took on
the murderous Lyndon B. Johnson
he was asked why he couldn’t give
a great rousing speech like the one
he gave at the convention

years before and he said something
like, “I’ve seen too many things and
can’t speak that way anymore”
He felt it then though, we all did
“We had great sex though, yes?”
Sorry my dear, after all these years
I don’t remember much good

about us, out and about the tender swirl
of those dark, dank, hurt-filled days
Like a calf born with two heads
her love for me wasn’t just love
Once vanity and boredom
slipped in, how easy it was
for her to “move on”

The operating room’s different
than what I expected, not really like
TV—it’s full of equipment, for one thing,
electronic, medical, harsh lights overhead,
lots of people, blue gowns a lot of blue
masks, the team scrubbed, expectant
standing wherever they could,

professional, determined, in anticipation
of their tasks, some joking it seemed
And as I go under I’m moved to a
metal looking stretcher bed much
narrower than I expected and, as
I’m placed there, a tube is placed
down my throat and I’m out

That “learned me,” as Gramps
used to say, that “learned me”
She and me in the freedom of time
Once here you can dream it all again—
her powerful offer of sprightly paradise
Opportunities seized that didn’t pan out
Opportunities seized that did

 

 

-August 5, 2017-