legalese on a preprinted form
stowed in a dresser drawer.
On the small pad the nurse placed by your bed
your hand unsteady spells out
What happened to me?
The EMTs didn’t wait for the form
they had their instructions.
You were so adamant
please no tubes no machines.
The words stuffed down your throat.
I stroke your hand skin thin as tissue
carry on our one-sided conversation
dog is fine grandkids miss you
and struggle with words that stick in my throat
Bonnie Wehle’s work has been published in Coal Hill Review, River Heron Review, Heron Tree Literary Journal, Red Rock Review, Sky Islands Journal, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, A Certain Ache: Poems in Women’s Voices, was published in 2022 by Finishing Line Press. Bonnie lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her dog Tillie. She serves as a docent at University of Arizona Poetry Center and facilitates a monthly poetry circle with the county library. bonniewehle.com