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Saturday, January 21, 2006


by Rochelle Ratner

She was going to visit her parents! Do you have any idea
what it's like, her father in intensive care on one side of the
city, on a ventilator and drugged so much he won't know
the tubes are there, and can't pull them out, which means
he doesn't realize she's there either, her mother on dialysis
three times a week in a hospital clear across town, a son
having to get to the gym so he won't be kicked off the
football team, one daughter having broken her braces in
the middle of the night, another daughter who'll absolutely
die if she misses her tango lesson, then the damn tollway
with rush hour traffic in the middle of the afternoon. And
now they tell her she's supposed to pay for this.

Rochelle Ratner's books include two novels: Bobby's Girl (Coffee House Press, 1986) and The Lion's Share (Coffee House Press, 1991) and sixteen poetry books, including House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003) and Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, October 2005). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage: