Very Human

Very Human 

She calls everything, even parts
of her body, “he—“ the breast so heavy
with its hard mass, the small foot puffy
as risen bread, the line of sores that we put
the special powder on,
the light, the glass of water—“put him there—“
the pants, the wallet,
the edema sleeve we decide it’s fine to just
forego today—

the seatbelt, the foot (in its shoe now) which needs such heft
to lift, “okay, he’s in—“
the waiting
car door.

Of course not the nurses, who say the sores, side effects
of the chemo, are looking better, “keep up whatever
you’re doing—“

Is it something about her generation?  That so much of the “other”—what has
to be maneuvered, cajoled, placated—is male?

But I am also of that generation
and live in a world of “its.” 
“It’s got a bunion,” I complain or my own foot, or
“I like it here,” of a clock (whose tick
is always “its” tock), me who silently expresses preferences
for cold hard facts, and difficult acceptances. 

So I don’t think the “he’s” are generational, but arise simply
because she lives in such a lively world, even in the face
of disease. A world in which lamps
have personality, pets
are people, her feet companions (beings to be sometimes scolded, sometimes
soothed), bits of her body somebodies
who can be persuaded to hopefully
come around—
She works hard on such persuasion, and (for the most part) cheerfully,
as I with all my “its” realize
I have something to learn.  


A draft poem of sorts.  Have a good day. 

The pic, one of mine, is imperfect for the poem, but I like it!  As always, all rights reserved to pic and poem.

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One Comment on “Very Human”

  1. M Says:

    brings to mind how many languages gender each noun, define – encase – thoughts in gender. and then the power of language, how words shape and constrain our thoughts ~

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