Ten Years After
Here is the church.
Here is the steeple.
Open the doors
and see all the people.
-Unknown Nursery Rhyme
& Hand Game
Dr. Bob folds his hands like that.
A church and a steeple; I expect
to unfold any minute for his blithe
amusement. At any moment revealing
all of the shiny-happy-finger people
he keeps in his pocket. The ones
who do not speak but remind him
daily he is not the one crying, perched
on the edge of a brown leather chair.
He deepens his voice with me and leans
away, looks out the window, past
the church, past the long wintered field.
He looks away. Do we want to talk today?
Can we be positive? I know I am not
supposed to say that the corgard was not
effective in the mind-over-matter game
and that I am not supposed to say,
It failed. I am supposed to be open,
like the field, but I am too well
wintered, too well pushed under, fenced
in by the wires and red thicket. He knows
I am filled with snow and blustered
by the white compressed tablets they feed
me when I am not-Positive. When I am not
a shiny-happy-finger person pressed
between sweaty palms and when I am not
enclosed in a nursery rhyme, leaning out
of a brown leather chair.
Copyright 2000 Haze McElhenny
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