The Surge The body bags stacked in rows like cordwood piles behind the shed; the morgue man’s business grows and grows. Night nurse hovers over patient’s bed. Intubated, he rasps for air; morning’s knife will cut his thread. Doctor drops his blanket stare, still wearing mask and stethoscope, grabs z’s while hunkered in his chair. Orderly’s world is grab and grope, bags the linen, cleans the floor, sated bed pans, empty hope. Gurneys line the corridor, attendants jockey for a room like salesmen going door to door. Outside in January’s gloom a line of ambulances wait, each one a Flander’s Field in bloom. All across our little state the maskless meet, the party flows; intrepid tipplers tete-a-tete, each breath a viral gift bestows.
Approaching Eighty The nearness of Death – I have 100 headlines inside the hollows of my brain where the wild child of me still resides, each day a shortening of the breath before the rain. The coldness of July’s shroud exacerbates the shudderings of pain, velvet of the coldest bone takes me down a peg or three, a confluence of cloud before the rain. In the woods behind my house a smattering of frog song between the flesh and grain, the scattering of expectations, the quivering of a mouse before the rain.
Bob McAfee is a retired software consultant who lives with his wife near Boston. His style is eclectic, but his goal is producing poems with both fierceness and a reluctant sense of optimism. Since 2019 poems have been accepted by The Lyric, The Blue Mountain Review, The Burning House Press, Liquid Imagination, Gleam Poets, Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, Front Porch Review, Poetry Super Highway, Open Door Magazine, Grand Little Things, WayWords, Oddball Magazine, Abstract: Contemporary Expressions, Minute Magazine and The Society of Classical Poets Journal. Natural Worlds poems illustrated with color photographs 2021, Love Songs 2022 both available through bookbaby.com Website: bobmcafee.com