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by Don Matley

I coped with my sudden collapse in a fever.
I coped with the ambulance ride to the hospital, I don’t remember it anyways.
I coped with the staph A infection that ravaged my body; it could happen to any one
and “resistance is futile”.
I coped with my aorta valve being devoured, making way for a titanium replacement.
I coped with the double by-pass; like many highways I have traveled
I coped with the myriad of IVS and tubes and wires; no wonder dolphins get caught in fishing nets,tackle and tires.
I coped with the angiogram divot in my wrist and the sod not being replaced.
I coped with the claustrophobic MRIS and the catscans that didn’t make me purr.
I coped with the chronic kidney failure where analysis led to dialysis.
I coped with the abcess on my brain which they unclogged like a drain.
I coped with the several seizures that shortcircuited my frame and still do.
I coped with the nine months flat on my back in bed, motionless, stone-dead.
I coped with the mechanical lifts that hauled my broken brittle body in and out of bed like a girder of steel.
I coped with the atrophy and being stretched on a rack in “Spanish Inquisition” tradition.
I coped with the paralysis on my left side which moved me with its stasis.
I coped with the morphine nightmares in which the same nurses who cared for me by day, scheduled my execution by night.
I coped with learning to swallow all over again, twice.
I coped with the allergic reactions to penicillin and to catscan dye which tried to take me on the sly.
I coped with the insulin needles in the belly and other intrusions such as six blood transfusions.
I coped with the parkinsonian shakes, after all, it must be the brakes.
I coped with the C-Difficile, three times no less, let’s get real!
I coped with the paranoia, the cystoscopies, the feeding tubes and even the hospital foods!
I coped with the twenty pills every day, the blood tests, finger pricks and the bedsores that wouldn’t go away
I coped with the blood pressure sleeves, and the Kodak down my throat and the ECGs.
I coped with the heart murmer and the blood clots in my legs; and the forced wheelchair tolerance which for bed made me beg.
I coped with the six and a half hours on the O.R. table, to enable me to be stable.
I coped with the seeping chest wound over my heart, the collapsed lung and the urinary infection that long escaped detection.
All this I could cope with and still can and still do
But alas, I never could cope with the loss of you!


Posted on 09/19/2007
Copyright © 2022 Don Matley

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Genevieve Sturrock on 09/19/07 at 06:06 PM

oh, baby...all i can say is damn!

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 09/20/07 at 02:19 PM

Superb Don. Excellent use of repetition and buildup to that last riveting line. Everything happens for a reason. :o)

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 07/31/14 at 04:11 AM

Hard to imagine all this being borne by one person which makes that last unthinkable loss so vividly felt.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 07/31/14 at 04:11 AM

And congrats on POTD!

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 07/31/14 at 10:07 AM

Congrats on POTD, Don. Well deserved. Great poem...good to read it again.

Posted by Gail Wolper on 08/01/14 at 08:40 PM

good list poem. I feel this is probably a true story, albeit a bit melodramatic

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