Measured Extravagance

2001-05-14 - 9:01 p.m.

I may nominate this one for a Diarist Award next quarter. She says it better than I can, which in turn spares all y'all from a half-coherent rant on the limits of "palliative care" (or, to be more specific, imagination-impaired people with little or no exposure to terminal illness and/or delirious ravings who presume to legislate other people's pain thresholds. Never mind that marijuana ought to be legal anyway. Oh, wait, I said I wasn't going to rant). That said, I also feel compelled to share with you a poem by Cortney Davis, from her book Details of Flesh:

There is a woman
in a hospital
barking like a dog.
The nurses know
it's the sound
of her lungs going
andher heart.
Visitors think
it's a dog outside
chained to a tree,
the rope too short,
no water
no one passing by.
All day and all night
visitors worry.
Why doesn't someone
bring in that dog?
People give the dog
names, people ask
if anyone can see the dog
through the window.
When the barking stops
everyone is relieved.
Elaborate endings are told--
how the dog
was taken to a farm
and set free.
How the dog
drinks from a stream
whenever it wants.
The nurses
say nothing.
But every nurse knows
the story
of the barking dog.

On a far happier note, I was laughing so hard by the middle of Sarah and Regina's repartee that Abby was looking at me with a very worried expression. Now she's licking my toes. Ah, life is good.

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