Book launch for What I Carry with Me coming Feb. 16 2023 at Wintergreen!

Hope you will join me for my reading and the launch of my new book, What I Carry with Me, at 7 pm. Eastern time. Would love to see you there. It is a virtual launch, links will be sent a week before the reading, but you can register now!

https://www.wintergreenstudios.com/events/what-i-carry-with-me

April 2022 POEM 21 Deserters

Deserters

At two or so it was pneumonia, then

tonsils wanted out. Let them go, I said.

***

Next, it was the eyes, at fourteen, when

the blackboard in class seemed too far away.

***

At 26, the cholesterol played games, blood

pressure too, pills for this, pills for that.

***

They all gave me a break for a long time after that.

Til arthritis set in, then C. Difficile wanted my colon.

***

Yeah, goodbye to that! Then the kidneys, sly suckers, those.

A slow rot, fourteen years to finally give up on me. Not satisfied,

***

they want to take more. Aortic valve’s complaining, heart

sending loud murmurs to protest all the work she has to do.

***

All the rats slinking down the gangplank, and me,

the body, flailing in deep waters.

Carol A. Stephen

April 30, 2022