Poetry Porch: Poetry


by William Valentine

This Tuesday a phlebotomist will draw my blood,
and a technician will slide me into a large gray donut
that contains a spinning x-ray fortune wheel.
Both will be looking for a trace of the excised cancer.
Not an ordinary Tuesday with the morning paper,
two cups of tea, a banana, and the crossword.

It won’t be a historic occasion.
Just an old man, my pants dropped to my ankles,
as the urologist reads tests results,
probes and palpitates my abdomen, my prostate,
and reassures me: no need of another surgery,
nor radiation, nor chemotherapy,

or he will tell me to call a priest, an undertaker,
and make an appointment at Forest Hills
to buy a plot between Cummings and Sexton.

Afterwards, I might jig, thank my surgeon,
bless his magic hands and glide out into the rest
of the day: teach my immigrant students
about Lucretia Mott and the meaning of equality;
savor the power of magic e; urge them to tell
their stories, and love the meaning of “deliverance.”

I will cook scampi, read Kenyon and Hall, listen to
James Taylor and be glad for Wednesday’s approach,
or I will sit and stare, stare through our slider at Dorchester
Bay as Bach’s “St. Matthew’s Passion” plays on the Bose.

Copyright © 2016 by William Valentine.