by Ron Gamache

In a stretch of days of deep freeze
the river, thick-iced, heaved onshore
chunks the size of sidewalks.
I remember the expression,
"They roll up the sidewalks at night."

My mother from her hospital bed said
she was reduced to life's essences --
bowels and bladder.
"Did you go? You can't go home until you go."
Healthcare professionals, poised to cheer for shit.

A rollercoaster clicks its ascent then stops
just before the whoosh down.
In an equally sized moment all you've become
starts to unravel.
You may notice it -- something you've failed to consider.

Over New England Medical Center's
parking spaces, a blizzard keeps visitors away.
Air is a-whoosh with snow and sounds of scraping plows.
Inside, my friend's heart-pumping machine clicks,
a metronome of being alive.

Where is the pill that lets him dream
of being down among the river rocks
and ice slabs zigzagged like a derailed train?
Give him a dream so deep it sends him morgue-numb
into thick, sucking mud where the turtles wait for spring.

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