Warren Paul Glover – Poetry

MEDICINE VENISON

A.M.

Morning.
I took my dog to the vets.
Blood tests.
Well, more blood tests, actually.
Follow-ups to the first lot.
Elevated liver enzyme.
Protein deficiency.
Vet optimistic about the prognosis.
‘He looks well,’ he said.
Prescribed him venison.

P.M.

Afternoon.
I took myself to the doctors.
Blood tests.
Well, more blood tests, actually.
Follow-ups to the ones before.
It’s been three years of them now.
Ferritin levels high. Iron levels high.
Before it was low red blood cell count, low white blood cell count.
Specialist perplexed.
The first – quack – doctor I had told me to eat more fish and seaweed.
I had seaweed, oysters, sashimi and mackerel
before I went to the doctor this time.
Doctor optimistic about my prognosis.
‘Keep up the good work staying well,’ he said.

We – the dog and me – had venison for dinner.
Iron levels won’t be coming down just quite yet.

*****************

THE BLACK RAT

December.

The year my mother died.

I saw a black rat in the garden,
running up and down the fence.
The first time I’ve seen one
in my three years in this house.

What does it mean?
Is it symbolic?
Of what?
Maybe it’s been displaced by next door’s builders?

I feel displaced.

I should put some poison down.
Vermin.

Shall I have vermicelli for dinner?
Mother’s favourite dish.
No, that was fish.

No.

She couldn’t eat in the end.
And her favourite dish was…
I can’t remember.
It might have been banana.

She only died in July and already I forget things about her.
I think a little bit of me died when she did.
It was horrible to watch and I don’t like to remember.

But the image, unbidden, gatecrashes my thoughts
at any time, day or night.

Just like that black rat.

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