A Long Convalescence

It is the small things tell you you are home—
cotton sheets, linen clouds, Dutch rabbits
nibbling greens. It is close to sunset
when you remember why you went away.
Never again, I swear on the Bible,
I hear you say to yourself as if no one
listens. Mama hurries the last crumbs
into a basket, sister sings her song.
However many hours He wore that crown—
that’s how long you lay anesthetized
while the surgeon scraped nerves and stretched bones.
Meanwhile the jackrabbit comes to blend in
against tan grounds and cottonwood. Windows
hold a million trees full of ganglia.
Accept that for now you will be going
between only two rooms—one with a bed,
one with a sink. Its grave porcelain eye.

About Judith Skillman

Judith Skillman is the author of eighteen books, including Heat LightningNew and Selected Poems, and The PhoenixNew & Selected. She is the recipient of grants from Artist Trust & Academy of American Poets. Her poems have appeared in Cimarron Review, Poetry, Zyzzyva, and numerous other journals. She is a faculty member at Richard Hugo House in Seattle, WA. Visit www.judithskillman.com

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