Today's prompt was to write a poem modeled after Smith's "Good Bones," which is one of my favorite poems of all time. If only, right? The prompt was to take a metaphor from professional slang and try to build on it. I decided to go for a medical slang term, circling the drain, for a patient who seems to just be getting worse, going under, about to be swallowed.
I want to work on this a little more, but I like the idea.
Our world is resilient, or so I try to believe.
Our world is tough—a big-boned workhorse
Of a woman with calloused hands
And grease burns on her arms.
She’s the kind of woman who wakes up
At the crack of dawn, cooks a full breakfast
For a house full of children, then goes to work,
Comes home, bone-tired, and starts her second shift.
She does it with a grimaced smile, unashamed
Of the gap between her gritted teeth.
Her generosity, her goodness, her open arms
Are eternal, or so I try to believe.
High blood sugar. High blood pressure.
Arthritus. She takes care of herself.
Yes, she’s getting old, but she’s a mother,
so she’s immortal, or so I try to believe.
I am trying to believe this, hard.
We all are, sitting here in the hospital room.
Her blood sugar rises like the oceans.
Her lungs are black from breathing all our smog.
Her heart is giving out—it’s sick of us.
The good doctor tells her to try homeopathy,
Or faith. Recycle. Walk to work. Eat vegan.
All the while she’s circling the drain.