the healing muse

Volume 13, 2013

Two poems by Sarah Gilbert

Thoughts on a No-Hair Day

This autumn I am deciduous.
My hair without anchor
loosed with a touch
flies with the wind
like the leaves
released.

I rake my hair off my pillow
my shoulders, the sink, the floor,
becoming acquainted with my scalp
cool and tingling
as delicate wisps of hair lift with the breeze.

I am shedding
like cats in spring
but now they are laying in their winter coats.
This is not their shedding season.

Better to think of the trees
branches bare to winter wind
strongly rooted
leafing out anew in the spring.

Why I Pulled My NG Tube at 4 am

Because the institutional wheels
turn only upon doctors’ orders.
Because I could not bear
the six hours till the doctor came by.
Because that foreign presence
in my nose and throat
caused undue suffering,
gripping my voice,
casting out sleep,
and didn’t even prevent vomiting.
Because I knew from experience
that I was better now
that this pain was unnecessary.
Because I have learned
to listen to my insides,
I sent the young nurse out
of the room, peeled back the tape,
and slid that sucking snake
up and out.

Back to Volume 13, Table of Contents

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