bad news
by Anthony Liccione

he told me
it was bad
and spreading,
and rather not
worth surgery.

just this fast
the words
departed him,
and left a hollow
cavity in the room.
made me wonder
how many
people he
had to fill in
during a footbrake
notation
that they were
dying;
then go back
to his normal
way of living.

this is complicated,
you have a rare
infection  
in your bloodstream
that’s incurable,
something of an
“en-vin-gitis”       
was all I
needed to hear him   
repeat again.
how much longer?

give or take
he swallowed,
five months.
but I just found love
I told him, a
love I’ve never
experienced before.
I told him
I don’t drink
or smoke,
I read the Bible
and go to
church,
I try to eat
more greens
and stay
fit by morning
chin-ups
and vitamins,
where did i go
wrong, I asked.

he told me
to keep doing
what keeps
me happy
and never
stop loving.

the more I
wanted to plead
the more
the doctor
seemed to shuffle
me off,
like the arm
on a record player
when the needle
clicks back
and forward
in the groove
of the end song
stuck in place.

I left his office
hearing things
in a different
manner,
the mixture of
snow and rain,
dropping down
in clumps              
from a deep
black sky,
hitting like
nails against
a sheet metal
lake.

the cold wind
how it raced
up the west
ribs of trees
and through
my lean
memories,

I thought
of all the bad
things I’ve
done in my past,
and asked
forgiveness,
thinking God
had gotten
His final say;

I thought
of the argument
my father and I
had,
ten years ago,
and how the
telephone strangled
itself with its
own cord
thereafter,

I had the sudden
urge to write him
a letter
when just then,
sorry seems
to be the hardest
word
came on the radio,
as I steered
against a blinding
blizzard
trying to find
the road.




                    ____________________________


Anthony Liccione lives in Texas with his two children.  His poems
have appeared in several print and online journals, and he has written
four collections of poetry.  


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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Literature
 

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 5, Number 1
(Spring 2010)

Copyright © 2010
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

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Apple
Valley Review
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