Read + Write Poetry: 28 April 2022


Read a Poem

She Bloomed Back Into the World
By Jon Graham

The gurney crashed down the corridor, surrounded by a bevy

of triage nurses

like a small swarm of bees on summer’s last flower, bagging

a blue morning glory.

A young woman, with one tattooed arm flailing to the side,

dripped fresh blood

from a needle track to the floor. I trailed as if the track

was the music of blood

played by the Pied Piper, a refrain I’d heard over and over

in my life.

As I followed, I wondered if we’d used up all our Narcan.

She was the seventh overdose

of the weekend – a vile batch of heroin from the streets

of Dayton.

Actually, heroin laced with carfentanyl, that illicit monster

opioid ten-thousand times more potent.

She wasn’t breathing, pupils pinpoint, needle tracks on both arms,

ankles, groin,

even one over the jugular on her neck, but my fingers found a pulse –

hope – for Narcan, rescue, consent to treatment.

Narcan came. She began to breathe, sucked oxygen from the mask,

emerged from her airless tomb,

opened her eyes like a morning glory blooming back into the world.

Not at this moment, but soon after,

after she had breathed more air and the air breathed her, her hand

clutched my forearm

and we had our conversation of eyes, and she told me her craving

would soon be coming back,

that her resuscitation was no remedy for the sorrow – my hope

only a quick fix – not nearly enough.

She Bloomed Back into the World by Jon Graham. Used by permission of the author.

About the Author

Jon Graham was born in Martins Ferry, breathed air that chugged from smokestacks at Wheeling Steel and the coke ovens and coal fields of Southeastern Ohio. Drafted into the military and serving, he went on to study poetry as a graduate student of American Literature/Creative Writing and medicine, becoming an Emergency Physician. After an extended hiatus, he now writes from a farm/sanctuary near Zoar in the hilly woodlands of Tuscarawas County. His debut collection of poems is forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Cornerstone Press.

Write a Poem

Write a poem that uses at least five words that begin with one of the four letters that are doubled at the beginning of a word (a, e, l, o). Here are a few to get you started, if you need them: aardvark, eerie, llama, oodles.

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