February 24, 2016
Off to the stationery store on Avenue A
to buy paper and metal bookends.
At least 58 people died in Europe
this week in a brutal cold wave,
plunging temperatures to 17 degrees
below zero. When I step inside,
I'm suddenly phlegmy and coughing.
Blood starts pouring out of my
left nostril. A funny old woman
hidden inside a blue hooded coat darts out the door. Republicans point at the millions of immigrant
workers pouring into the country.
Then I look in the mirror and see
a funny looking old woman
with her head wrapped
like a mummy and a tissue stuck
in her nose. King Tut's mummy
was recently removed from
the sarcophagus, and placed
in a climate-controlled box
to be displayed at a museum in Luxor.
My husband often had a bloody nose.
Maybe we'll find each other
in another life. When I think of
losing my children, I feel my body
crack into pieces. China's cracking
down on subversive meditating
disciples of the Dalai Lama.
Be thankful for now, Barbara.
Today. This minute. Here we are.
-- Barbara Henning, from her collection in A DAY LIKE TODAY
(Negative Capability Press, 2015)
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