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Friday, June 01, 2007


by Rochelle Ratner

Her friend's husband has TB. She thought it had been virtually eliminated in the U.S. But this prisoner's been living inRussia, locked up in Arizona now. Solitary confinement. He thought he'd get better medical care in his native country, the sort of care her friend's husband got. Her friend's husband lost weight in the hospital, but began recovering quickly; back home he's enjoying her cooking more than ever. They say the prisoner was hungry late at night and went to a convenience store. They say he didn't wear his mask. A woman she knows in her late forties plans a move to assisted living. Another ailing friend's virtually trapped in her four-story walk-up. But these are risks you accept when you live alone.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Leads (Otoliths Press, 2007), Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006) and House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). She is the author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels (Bobby’s Girl and The Lion’s Share) both published by Coffee House Press). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage.