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Friday, March 26, 2010


by Martha Deed

It is the day – another of the days –
a day of on-edge spectators spectating
at on-edge politicians and woe to the person
who cares
who is sick
who wonders what will happen if a job is lost
a child wheezes before being covered
an adult’s heart fails before age 65

For now, the safety net rescues the sick
only after the lungs are filled with water
muscles turned to mush
mashed potatoes become a gourmet dish
in an empty kitchen
and missed opportunities for lack of cash
for doctors and tests and medicines
have doomed the now sick tuna
to an early death caused
by economic neglect

the feminist cry:  each woman only one man away from welfare
replaced by an equal opportunity cry: each person only one illness away from destitution

and angry people who are among those
standing only one illness away from poverty
wave flags and teabags.  They are free of fear for their future health
more fearful of the shellgame inside the white domed building in the sun
than of their health while even those who are fearful for the future of their health
shudder at the shades and deals and gifts that twist integrity
into unseemly pragmatism 
status quo dangers of health care economics weighed
against status quo dangers of preserving one’s seat
no matter who’s in charge

As for me:
Only one thing to do:
eat right
avoid all vices
pray my ancestors’ DNA
will get me through this mess

Martha Deed watches world events pass by like boats on the Erie Canal.  Her 3rd chapbook, The Lost Shoe, was recently released by Naissance chapbooks. To see its video trailer click here.  Recent publications include: Poemeleon, The Helix, Dudley Review, Unlikelystories and many others.