J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Social Justice Poetry, Scarlet Leaf Review, Stanzaic Stylings, Synchronized Chaos, and Autumn Sky Poetry.
There’s distance in it –
a loneliness, a hint of forever
a yearning, a comparing
a watching, a measuring
of conversations in other rooms
of knowing looks.
There’s time in it –
minutes to get through
hours, even days
a sequence of pills, of potions
of needles, of questions,
if there’s a TV, then that,
or music, background music
that becomes a symptom.
There’s a generalization in it –
personal without being personal
a label, a consultation,
a second opinion, a third
forms to fill out, forms to send in.
In it, there’s a call you won’t take,
and there’s someone at the door,
a door you don’t want to answer.
My Neighbor’s Nurse
She’s at the door again, patiently
waiting, pushing the doorbell; he’s
in there not answering. He’s 95 and
afraid, angry at what life has done to
his world – his wife, blind and deaf is
finally in a Home, his children put her
there, wanted to do the same to him,
but here he is in the house he tended
all those years. Not answering the door
is the last of his pride playing its part,
a bit of control in an out of control life.
And, she’s at the door again, patiently
waiting, a messenger from a disloyal
world, the inevitable angel of time,
the very last angel, his angel of death.
I remember the Spiritual, would have listed it,
if asked, along with the Physical and Emotional
as one of players in who I am, as one of that tri-
umvirate that ruled my days and night, the trinity
that made me tick, and I remember it fondly as
that inner voice I used to talk to God, it was like
this giant cathedral and I was this tiny voice in
the back saying my say, offering and bargaining,
even chatting a bit; I’d never hear back, but that
never dissuaded me; God was, I had discovered,
a silence that I trusted; I prayed, I examined what
I did and didn’t do, came to conclusions based on
things that I read or heard in school or in church,
the gospel according to whoever was speaking,
filling the silence that was I reserved for God,
the silence that was my Spiritual self: the speakers
in school and church confused the issue, and I
became the Physical and Emotional self of today,
sometimes intellectual, sometimes sensual, but
always this voice in the back row trying to fill
the silence I once thought was God.