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A Provisional

by William F Dougherty

[from The Crab Sonnets]

The fatigue is iron. Breath strains like pleas
as morphine slips down lucid tubes to ease
a snarl beneath the silver-staple line
frenzied for each dose of cloaking anodyne
to heal the salvaged gullet-stub, at least,
where the carcinoma had spumed like yeast,
but now the gliding nurses scratch on charts
the vital signs of heart—but not both hearts.

Like Ishmael escaped, I see the named
that assassin of cells seized and claimed,
and--indebted provisional of time--
defy it by some artifice or rhyme
as their revenants would, had they a page,
defy clawed malice with their marrow’s rage.

08/09/2012

Posted on 08/09/2012
Copyright © 2020 William F Dougherty

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Dane Campbell on 08/09/12 at 07:12 PM

Well done.

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