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Every month More Voices invites readers to contribute short nonfiction prose pieces of 40 to 400 words on a healthcare theme.



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Cathie Desjardins ~

Rusted nearly through at the base
of their pale green throat,
the amaryllis buds are trying to bloom,
like a person with a tracheotomy
trying to say a poem.

I snip off the buds, leaking dark red
from their diseased wound, trimming
them to clean pale stubs to put in water.

Day to day, the largest furled bud
is loosening into white wrapped wings.
The other three buds are tinier versions
of each other like Russian nesting dolls.

They are plumping with white petals
veined green but their nubs
are softening in the water and I don't know
if they can ripen without earth.

Lying next to you on a sleety day
I look over at them for a lesson
I might learn, wondering
if I should furl my body closed

now that it's faulty, diagnosed, curl
to protect myself--or whether I should open
deeper and deeper to you in case
this is the last of intimacy I will know.

About the poet:

Cathie Desjardins is a lifetime educator, writer and literacy specialist. Her first book of poems is With Child, and her second, Buddha in the Garden, is forthcoming. She is currently poet laureate of Arlington, MA.

About the poem:

"This poem was written after a scary biopsy. Successful surgery gave this health scare a positive outcome, but the poem is a reminder of the vulnerability of all of our bodies."

Poetry editors:

Johanna Shapiro and Judy Schaefer


# Linda Conte 2019-02-10 12:05
Faulty is a very moving and lovely poem. Good health to the author and readers!
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# Susan `Turner 2019-02-09 20:36
Thank you for the lovely poem!
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# Joseph fennell 2019-02-09 10:40
The more we view medicine through an organic generative and regenerative lens we will rediscover the soul of medicine —thank you.
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# Pris Campbell 2019-02-09 03:36
Wonderful lpoem! The flowers tell the story so effectively.
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# Debbie Hall 2019-02-08 20:38
Really lovely poem, this one.
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