Friday, February 22, 2019

It's Tuesday so this must be Dana-Farber by Richard H. Fox

In the elevator,
        a woman pulls a phone from her purse.
        A man picks lint off his blue jeans.
        Yesterday’s Globe snaps open.
        Riders stare at flashing floor numbers.

A toddler in
        a wheelchair sports a Brock Holt uniform top.
        Purple patch over left eye matches right forearm gauze.
        An IV tube connected to a bag hung on the hook
        disappears under collar to his port.
        Nostrils raw from wiping, shine with petroleum jelly.

He looks up
        at my overripe cheeks,
        into my puffy eyes, nods,
        points a finger at my face,
        grins, chuckles.

I smile back.
        He raises a pincushion hand.
        We bump fists.

A ding announces
        the seventh floor.
        His parents wheel him out.

When not writing about rock ’n roll or youthful transgressions, Richard H. Fox focuses on cancer drawing on hope, humor, and unforeseen gifts. The winner of the 2017 Frank O’Hara Prize, he seconds Stanley Kunitz' motion that people in Worcester MA are "provoked to poetry.”

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