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After Top Surgery

Birch Rosen

After Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese”

You do not have to stagger around the house,
unaided and weak,
as the meds wear off or kick in.
You can tell your partner your cane is in the trunk of your car,
knowing they know the hook where your keys hang,
the driver’s seat lever that opens the trunk,
the nest of broken bird bath and magazine clippings
in which your cane resides,
your cane and your history with it.

You do not have to lift a finger
to scratch your cheek
or swallow your pills
or take a sip of water or a bite of dry plain bagel.

There are two skilled hands here,
already familiar with your changing body.
You only have to tell them where it hurts
and what you need
and surrender yourself to their care.