By Amy Malick
Let’s hope she’s still waiting
throbbing body humped over hard ER chair
slow tears tracing gullies
down florid cheeks.
Let’s hope her name is on the list,
dropping slowly down the page
while the sick with cards
that shout SEE ME mute
her retching stomach,
her feverish brain,
buy her time.
Let’s believe she’s at least warm there
as frigid wind turns
a sleeping bag under the bridge
to a frozen board.
By Joan Artis
Rules are everywhere!
There are rules to drive a car.
There are on how to raise kids.
There are rules to renting an apartment.
There are rules in shelters.
There are rules in business.
Rules, Rules, and more Rules!
But that’s life and some rules are meant to be followed.
Without rules this world would become barbaric.
But even then the cave people had rules.
By Luis Prieto
Don’t ever feel bad
Wishing on something you had
Because people may think you’re a bum
Try to have fun
Say to yourself that you are number one
But show them that you ain’t done
By Amy Malick
He propels his chair with one good leg.
The stump wears a stocking cap,
just like his shiny bald head.
Dimples, dark eyes, and
biceps the size of hams could attract
any fine woman. He says
he’s not good enough for that.
He disappears to his room,
returns with box of rubber discs,
like vinyl 45’s, to show how to
patch the hole in his side that
seeps shit when a kernel of corn
sneaks between seal and skin.
For 23 years, this life he
never imagined when strong body
ran long for the pigskin to the
roar of the crowd. After the
bike crash crushed and tore and
pulverized and cracked, after he
learned he’d crap out his side forever,
he popped a bottle of pills,
downed a fifth of whiskey
and lay his broken body in the path of a train.
When he woke under bright lights,
the voice of the doctor let him know
he hadn’t made it after all.
In his best times, he lived in woods
behind the law school. Mud from hard rains
trapped him free in the lean-to
down the hill from
the faculty parking lot.
Students stashed booze in the bushes.
He cooked them steaks over a charcoal fire.
When his stump got infected, he rolled
to the hospital nearby.
He signed papers that moved him inside.
He likes the Bible studies.
And the residents. Well, most.
He waits for ice to give way to summer,
to get outside and roll free.