Heart fibrillation begins.
The doctor peers over a surgical maskand furnishes a pep talk. Joe’s hands clamp
on the table; knuckles jut into the walls.
His eyes weld to an instrument tray:
scissors, tweezers, hemostats and some unnamed gadget.
A curved suture needle twinkles at him.
Doc grips a syringe--pricks, plunges,
then the scalpel . . . .
Joe stares into a ceiling bulband whisks into a phosphorescent tunnel
where rainbows arch, dissolve into bubbles,
and pop into pinwheels.
Something distant yanks
and Joe lifts his head. The doctor threads and tugsa knot, removes a blood-speckled mask,
and hums while leaving the room.
The nurse takes Joe’s hand, guides him up,
and escorts him into the lobby.
At the door she leans toward his ear,and invites him for drinks
at her apartment after work
- Peter Venable 2014
Peter works as an almost-retired addiction and mental health counselor, volunteers at a prison camp and food pantry, and is graced with a happy marriage, daughter and son-in-law, and Yeshua. Poetry, The New Yorker, and Atlantic Monthly are not worthy, unlike Bluepepper, of his sagacious poems.