Blog Post / Fall 2016 / Issues / Poetry / Volume 47

Lowness–Krikor Der Hohannsian

is what you notice first,
a fleet of wheelchairs adrift
below the waist of the horizon,
lost ships in a sea of dementia,
the grey-tiled ceiling pressing
down, down like pea soup fog,
zero visibility in a lost world.

They are the derelicts
washed up on unfamiliar shores,
sea and storm-battered hull slats,
once sea-worthy, decayed
to worm-eaten driftwood.
They are the scrub beach pine
bent low against the wind with
nothing to break the howl.
Gnarly, brittle branches –
arms, legs, fingers, toes,
rough-barked faces,
blood sap at a trickle,
feeble barriers against
the winter of mortality.

One keeps struggling to rise,
like a horse with a fractured fetlock
the pure instinct to keep moving.
The white-coats push him
back down, strap him, but
lowness is not for him.
He totters back up, a whinny
of protest, and you think,
so what if he falls?
Let him die trying
what he still knows.

Waterford Life Care Center

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