Monday, September 22, 2008


Write a poem which satisfies the following criteria:

1. The poem must consist of three, four, or five short numbered sections.
2. No section should be rhymed.
3. The poem should have a title which:
- a. gives the reader at least some clue as to what the overall poem is about;
- b. like the title "Religion Back Home" and "Eclipse," the title should be both literal and figurative.
4. Each sections should be a complete little poem in its own right, very concrete and rich in imagery, and with its own sense of an ending.
5. Each section should, like all achieved poems, in a way that is both indirect yet vivid touch upon a different facet of the poem's overall theme.
6. All the sections of the poem, despite their differences, should contribute to whatever the point is which the overall poem is trying to suggest, but the poem should not read only like a list of examples because:
7. The whole--the sections taken all together--should be greater than the sum of the parts. In other words, the whole should be a kind of metaphor.
8. The point of the poem should be sufficiently subtle and complex to require the strategy outlined above.

The Last Smack - Hayley Darpel

The Last Smack

Shaky, pursed line of contempt
his stormy gaze scalds my insides
waves of skin flow from my brow
fearful, but persistent
anything to change his mind
I raise my chin and peer
through polished emeralds
dripping with empathy in
hopes to rouse his love
but his razor sharp palm
draws back like a bow
out puffs the welt speckled with the
same purple blood he shares

Never-Never Land - Kara Engelken

Never-Never Land

She wrote for no one would listen
Her words were never interrupted on paper
She could ignore the world holding a pen
Insanity seeded
Distancing reality with dreams
Living, breathing, believing imagination
Words were her weapon, her defense
Her life
Desperation aided the unhealthy attachment
As necessity drove her away
Fear of dependence upon her dream world
She grew up…
Like memories too old to remember
Only empty castles remain
Like the Rome Coliseum
Once alive now a skeleton

The child in her needed the world
The woman needed to be free

Seventeen - Cynthia Gomez


In that very moment
While it was still unknown
Not having the
To know
The foresight
To see my own
Frustrated me.
My body the same
But inside
A Life
A Life inside
And unknown to me
At seventeen.

On the Cover of Rolling Stone - Mackenzie Goodwin

On the Cover of Rolling Stone

In the dark
I wake to the electric orange of your cigarette hovering
An inch above my face
The purple black vineyard of alveoli in your lungs
Pressing cold, sore blood up underneath
The tattoos you etched on your own skin
After Desert Storm

Swollen singular lines no my fingertips
Speak a dozen words
As your twin daughters smile limpidly at me from their frame
You bare your wolf’s teeth, the worst I’ve seen this side of Appalachia –
And grin – a dull, disfigured warmth from the unclothed florescent lights
Vibrates, as wrinkles, like curtains on a Vaudeville stage draw open, obsolete –

In the distance, I perceive the snares of a bass drum insinuating unnaturally into the side of my neck…

Ignored Affection - Ben Hedges

Ignored Affection

You are here beside me.
I feel comforted by your presence,
But you do not see me standing there.

You speak to me.
I soak up your words taking in your past and future,
But you do not hear my voice swinging back.

You welcome me.
I enter your world, see your sights, make my time yours,
But you make me feel like a stranger in a crowded room.

You lie to me.
I’m told that my feelings should not be tarnished.
But you provoke the storm clouds over my head.

Through Death - Michael Hemmer

Through Death

The voice comes through the plastic, familiar
But unusual, almost like it is hiding something.
Then the cold wave comes crashing through me,
Replacing all the warmth from the world with cold shock.
Everything freezes.

A weight falls upon my shoulders,
I am paralyzed by its sudden burden. A presence enters
The room, one I have never known before. Death
Places his hand upon my shoulder in sympathy
And leaves.

The onslaught of clichés come forth in a feeble attempt
To give me comfort, yet somehow they help. I start
Comprising a list of all the now unimportant tasks I need
To accomplish before I hit the dusty trail through Nebraska.

Eyes reddened from the long drive winding through the fields.
The faces of relatives welcome me, though distorted by
Grief. The only real comfort I receive is from the faces of my brothers,
Both pillars of strength in which my burden is shared.
I glace past them to the empty chair he sat in every time
I visited, it was void. A new piece of reality set in
As another wave of cold shock passes through

I stand alone staring down into the wooden casket, his empty
Body sets before me. I hold back the tears as long as I can as
The Final Wave of the cold hits me, my body now numb to the shock.
My brothers join me and with a silent nod we all three agree.
This man, at 77, left a legacy that has only been partially written,
And it is up to us to pick up the pen.

The Final Moment - Mike Hodge

The Final Moment

Creating memories like scrapbooks
That has just completed its last page
Baccalaureates and several rehearsals that lasted for house
While anticipating for years
For that 10-second walk of success
This moment has finally arrived
Nervous as a bride would be on her wedding day
We Thank God that this day has come
We all hear the cheers from people and clicks
From cameras like guns shot with no bullets
As 912 proud students walk with the dignity like soldiers
Names being said in chronological order waiting to be seated like
Customers at a restaurant
Anxiety. Nervousness. Fulfillment. Sadness. And being impatient
Flows through your body
All at the same time thinking,
Where has time gone?

I'm Sorry, It's a Brain Disease - Cassandra Kaul

I’m Sorry, It’s a Brain Disease

The tests were done a week ago,
And these ten minutes have become
A lifetime.

Little stuffed wolves line the walls;
Precious, fuzzy, smiles forced
Onto beastly faces.

There are no smiles in this
Monochromatic hell-hole.
This is the doctor’s office.

As the doctor walks in
The beasts bleed back into the walls.
I don’t know what I want to hear.

Anything but this.

Why - Kaela McWherter


Into the lifeless hospital I crept
Wandering slowly as if in a somber trance.
What could I have said at a time like that
Because truly nothing would help and even
Heart-felt words would have felt like broken glass.
I walked in and saw my friends and parents of two, though
Soon to be one after
A mere twenty-two days
Sitting and staring off looking for
Hope or something to make it
Better. We sat there a long time
After a long while it was time to head home
Knowing I would keep this moment with me forever.

Prodgial Son - Ruth Patrick

Prodigal Son

His hair is looking better than the last time;
a random shaggy mane of white-boy dreads.
I reach out and he hugs me looking away and never---never
meets my gaze.

We speak in half-formed riddles. Still
the same old game, a battle
neither one of us could win.

“I’m making glass again”
(Pipes and hippy-charms with shrooms and leaves)
I do not state my religion. He does not hide his choice.

I sincerely praise the beads. We barter.
“5 dollars is a tank of gas” he tells me
standing by his Prius.

I Call Her "Harriet" - Alyssa Reeves

I Call Her “Harriet”

Morning pierces the sky with such fervor
that I am roused from my sleep
in a panic; like a 2 a.m. phone call
urgency pushes at the blinds.
Will today be different?
The world awaits.
Pull them up to reveal a dark reality:
Death hangs outside my window,
a dumb silhouette before the blinding light.
Small silk coffins shudder
like nervous hammocks.
Connect the dots.
An eight-legged ambition carried out flawlessly.
Premeditated murder.

One High E of Two - Peter Seiler

One High E of Two

Ping! The mandolin string breaks.
The bobcat opens his eyes.
Looking down from his perch
At two decisively alone people.

What should bring this?
Cuckoo clock ticking, the ball rolling.
The pixie bob leaping and crushing
The paper ball.

No one had touched the mandolin. . .
A bottle of wine much lowered
Breathed very little.
And so was she gone.

Encore - Jason Stricker


Lights, after being dimmed for eternal seconds,
Disguise my shadow in the darkness,
Hindering my appearance while on stage
For the conclusion of my first performance
In an arena.

All of the “It will never happen(s)” and the “You’ll never make it(s)”
I have heard, even sometimes from my own mouth,
Represent all the fans on the sold-out floor,
Deeming my own platinum success and golden effort.

After taking a brief moment to soak in the feelings of joy and accomplishment
The crowd’s screams escalate,
Demanding to perform my Grammy-winning piece,
“The Cigarette Lighter’s Anthem.”
Still on stage, lighters pop up one by one,
From front to back. And soon,
This enormous coliseum is lit
By Bics of every color.

And my shadow, as well as my face,
Re-reveals itself
Stepping out of darkness
During this time of pure ecstasy,
If such a feeling exists.
I look to my drummer,
Far behind my place onstage,
Snap my fingers seven times,
And wait for his stick
To whistle through the air,
Unleashing freedom and passion
Onto the faces of three drums,
And three thousand people.

Laser Eye Surgery - Robert Tippin

Laser Eye Surgery

Light bursts, blinding my eyes,
As calming clatter
Fills the operating room

“It will all be over soon”
Are her words – somehow – wildly untrue
To my sightless, aching eyes.
But I want to see . . .

The splendid crackling orange of fall
And deep, brown soil
Cradling greens,

A slice cuts the surface.
The hands withdraw.

Monday, September 8, 2008

First Day Jitters - Kaela McWherter

First Day Jitters

Try to get to bed early, and when you
Cannot bring yourself to sleep
Rest in bed staring at the ceiling tiles
Wondering if your new roommate
Is feeling the same nerves which of course is true.
You have a random conversation until
Finally sleep overcomes you
And before you know it the most terrifying thing happens:
The Alarm goes off! Frantic and exhausted
You pull yourself out of bed;
Wondering why did summer have to end?
You see the herd of sluggish moving students
Pile into the various rooms trying
To fight off butterflies about what the teacher
Is like and why they foolishly signed up for a morning class
When they could still be in their warm bed dreaming
About the end of dreaded finals week.
As you begin to wake up the sense
Of oh what have I gotten myself into sets in and
You wander around campus like a fawn
Learning to use its wobbly legs.
The day crawls on as you manage your way
From one class to the next and then
Your last class ends! Freedom, or so
You would think as you soon remember:
I have homework and more classes tomorrow.
The non-class aspects of college get you through
The rest of the day as time sprints forward
When one is trying to avoid homework and the realities
Of college life. But it is all fine because at least you
Survived one day.

Images and Indirection

Write a poem which satisfies all of the following criteria:

1. The poem must be no more than fourteen lines.
2. The poem should be like a scene from a play.
3. This scene should present realistically, with great concrete detail, a true incident from you life -- either the first time or the last time you did something or found yourself in a dramatic situation which permanently changed you. (The best type of subject matter would be an "initiation" experience, for example the death of a relative, your first kiss, playing hardball for the first time, etc.)
4. The poem should be in the first person singular, like Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy: i.e., it should read as if you were reexperiencing the incident, aware that your remembering were being overheard. Even though it is premeditated and carefully edited, it should appear spontaneous.
5. For this reason, it should be in free verse, not end-rhymed.
6. The poem must consist of a few images which create an emotionally suggestive atmosphere, that imply emotion in the narrator (the persona) but
7. The poem must not use abstract words that name feelings. For example, do not use words such as "happy," "sad," "angry," etc. Do not describe emotions in terms of your body (e.g., "my heart is racing," "my palms are sweating," "my stomach is growling," etc.

Miracle Behind the Curtain - Hayley Darpel

Miracle Behind the Curtain

She lay there like the Christmas turkey:
exposed, ready and eager to be helped.
With no inclination of the
beast to flee her bulging belly,
she waited for the ready signal.
Bligs of green beeped “Go!” and now
her heels molded into the stir-ups.
This was the maternal moment these
four females came to witness.
Sisters became eager cheerleaders
and I became a mid-wife, the hand to be squeezed.
I told her with a grin, “He looks
beautiful!” when all I could see was
a sap-covered head with a couple hair on it.
And then the beep retreated.
She flopped back like a whale after it breeches
and we drove on with feedback and laughs.
The seconds weren’t so persistent when she felt
like the reason she came was about to be
revealed from behind a big velvet curtain.
It seemed this day was the reason I had my hands
and she took full advantage of them
when the next blip reared its ugly head.
The seam broke and the crimson drops began
to flow. At that instant, I was grateful she
chose the epidural. The words “umbilical cord”
broke my daze as I saw the baby’s blue face.
A snip, a tie and a cry later, the doctor held
him up so she could behold his glorious features.
Too thrilled to wait for more beeps,
she grasped the love of her life in her arms
finishing the process of childbirth.
Sniffles and tears filled the room as the boy
was named Hayden.
A gargantuan meaty creature was birthed
shortly after and talk of calcifications baffled me.
When the time came to show her new joy
to her father, she did it like a magic trick:
pulled back the less-than-velvet curtain
and happily showed off the boy she popped out.

Un-love me - Kara Engelken

Un-love me

Break my heart like a metal pipe through my chest
Make my face the craters on the sides of cliffs
Use me like my body was your punching bag
Break my arm like a pruner does the new branches
Throw me away like I was a nursery doll on clean-up day
Love me like I were air in your lungs
Don’t hate me like a mad man hates sanity
Don’t curse me like a criminal does his wound
Now un-love me the way you unwind your shoes

Relax - Cynthia Gomez


I feel it as I park
My car in the garage.
My aching feet walk
Towards the door as
They slip off the shoe
Restricting its partner.
Already the sensation
Puts me at ease
Urging me to undress.
Abruptly I take off the articles
Drenched with the day’s
Grime and guilt.
I turn the knob to unleash
The things my body needs
To recover.
Eager to exhale, I jump
In and begin to feel the heat
Burning the stress off my body. Killing
The memories of today.
Not thinking of anything, but
Closely monitoring my problems
As they go down the drain.

After a month alone and forgotten - Mackenzie Goodwin

After a month alone and forgotten

It fell
All fuzz
And liquid acid rancid
to your outstretched feet
This verdant microcosm reminiscent of the
Primordial soup
From whence you came (yourself)
Flowering cold
and tenacious as that same Sunday morning
from its reluctantly vapid vessel
with white audacious blooms
an Exodus; an onslaught,
as though fleeing the putrid obscurity
of some despotic
coffee-cup regime.
You stand,
So strong
It paralyzes.
As the stain seeps disquiet –
A miniature sea of unwated life—floating
mucus-like upon the memory;
An artifact from under your desk
A ring of promise, you laugh
It leaves in memoriam;
A black lesion
on virtuous cream carpet,
A slime half-corpse betraying
a façade of ceramic
Valentine hearts,
An experiment undone,
A culture uncultured.

A Hurting Hand - Ben Hedges

A Hurting Hand

Staring at one another
That’s all it comes down to in the end
A field of green separating two bulls
one going home rich, the other poor.
Towers holding the weight of multicolored plastic
They may not be worth thousands
But they’re the ticket to thousands.
You lift your cards, he does the same
The plastic whispers its secrets.
He strikes, the field is littered.
You glace at the mess,
A junkyard of treasure.
You look at him, his darkened specs are a shield
So you look elsewhere to hear the words that his lips won’t speak.
He is motionless
A self-portrait of himself he leaves behind in his stead.
You grip plastic, more than he has offered
Adding to the chaos in the center.
You are both digging graces
But you have to risk digging deeper
If you want to reach the surface.
The corner of his lip rises, the portrait smiles
The hammer on the pistol ready to fire.
One hand grabs currency, the other cards.
Segregated royalty is revealed
A 10 and the only four letters of the alphabet you care about stare at you.
The bullet penetrates, your towers crumble, and yet
The slate in the middle is swiped clean.
Time to make another mess.

Service - Michael Hemmer


Pull the vehicle over the pit with the
Tires screeching against the concrete. Let the engine run
A moment too long to heat the oil up.
Exit the vehicle and go below,
Where the soul of the machine sets with
Moist heat filling the dark empty pit.

Glance at the plug and quickly calculate
Its size from a distance and grab
A hand full of wrenches, still greasy
From the last five vehicles
Loosen the drain plug and listen as the
Hot, blackened fluid rains into the
Vacant oil pan

Once all the life-blood from the vehicle has
Dripped away, find yourself the filter and
Remove it, feeling the still warm oil trapped within.
More of the blackened filth comes forth,
but this time do not let it all slip away
Collect a droplet on your fingertip, the warmth
Seeping into the grooves of your fingerprint.

Twist the new filter into the old slot and
Leave the now uncomfortably warm underbelly
Of the vehicle and pop the hood. The guts
Of the vehicle sit vulnerably before you,
But all you want is the yellow ring.

Replace the old blackened oil with the vibrant, golden
Fluid that flows over the rugged pistons. Pull the
Ring and feel it wither as if it was alive as it
Glides up the tube. Make sure the oil set perfectly
Between the utmost and minimum mark, and
Let the vehicle pump its new blood through its
Metal veins.

Sensational Woman - Mike Hodge

Sensational Woman

I can remember it like it was yesterday
The way she used to stroke my face
Gently feeling my defining feature
Like a blind man would with Braille
Asking God, “Why take her life at this time?”
Feeling like a father who has lost his only daughter
Staring into her perfectly shaped eyes
Reminds me of pearls on a tropical sandy beach
Realizing her last hours as she lays in bed
As cancer controls her body as a jockey would his horse
Holding back sympathy and the tears as they begin
I knew she would be pain-free as I start to mourn
Because where she is headed no pain is necessary
No hurt, harm or danger
A smile that lights up venues
And a heart that made anyone feel loved
An angel which is pure like a stream in mountains
Who is now sitting high and looking low
On every obstacle I attempt to jump
And every trial that I defeat
Mother, thank you on making me the person I have become

5, 6, 7, 8...

5, 6, 7, 8…

Walking into the dance studio and seeing
the walls of mirrors and barres lined up against it
like tall pines reflecting on a lake
bring excitement to any dancer’s heart.
Anticipation of class is accompanied by
music as you put on your worn-out dance shoes.
Stepping onto the floor and looking at yourself
in the mirror you remember what brings
you back to class every week despite
sweat, blood, blisters, and sore muscles.
The music makes you feel alive and
because you can’t sing or play piano,
this is how you express yourself—
through movement that is born from
the music pulsing inside of you.
You dance without thinking—
the best way to dance.
As you begin stretching, warming up, and
fine-tuning your technique, the hurt-so-good
pain deep in your muscles is a reminder of the
work you have put into this.
Pointing, leaping, turning, stretching,
falling, hurting, pushing, succeeding,
always trying to make your actions speak
louder than any words ever could.
Dancing through the routine over and over,
nearly ten times, you are tired and sore, but
you understand this is how good dancers are
made: through determination and you want
to look perfect on stage.
Feeling grace flow from your steps and
knowing this is where you are supposed to be
makes dancing worth all the time and pain.

The Knitting - Cassandra Kaul

The Knitting

Tying the knot is the vital part.
Double it to be sure.

Not too tight,
or it won’t slide
on the needle for you to stitch

The itchy cotton blend scratches
your fingers as you begin
the knitting.

Casting on,
counting as you go
not too little,
not too much.
Knit 1, Pearl 2.

Knit 1, Pearl 2 become
the routine.
Knit 1, Pearl 2. Turn.
Knit monotonous, Pearl easy.

Your life for a moment becomes a series
of Knit 1 monotonous, Pearl 2 easy.

Knit 1 monotonous, keep going. Pearl 2 easy, never stop monotonous easy knitting. Stop.
Is it too
Has it become a long, drawn out scrap, a remnant of what it should have been?

You begin the end
and stitch back in, and tie off.
Not too tight
or it will be misshapen.

Cutting the thread is
a release.

Knit 1, Pearl 2 become
a jumbled mess of loops.
The look messy, completely

You put it around your neck and,
jumbled, itchy, cotton blended loops are more.

They’re warm.

Road trip to the Pow Wow 2008 - Ruth Patrick

Road trip to the Pow Wow 2008

Sleepin’ late
loungin’ on Labor Day, then
head east through early-fall
mid-morning construction
paper hills pasted
to the sky.
Feel the dust-hazed breeze sucking
their depth dry and
flat like a child’s collage.
Yellow brick road rolled out like
masking tape through green slopes scattered
with rich golden hay-rolls
to tempt Rumplestiltskin to
work overtime on the holiday.

Paint my van full of family in the foreground.
Racing trains, cows
like sheet metal cowboy cutouts
waving on hilltops.
Wild sunflowers sprinkle the roadside.
Sparkle-bright farm ponds,
Silos and windmills,
Graveyards and cornfields;
kids see
nothing but Game Boy screens.

Topeka, no Emerald City this
one big bad neighborhood
hidden in tress
sprawling ‘round
one green dome-riding
shoot for the stars
follow his feathered shaft
in spirit
not direction
ride in
his shadow remembering
years we rode this trail;
other lifetimes
other selves who once live here.

Take California
--Avenue, not
the state of my birth or youth--
past golden arches, Burger King,
Taco Tico turned to a hair salon
painted pink,
to Twenty-Ninth Street
--Game Boys beeping in the back seat--

Dillons’ ATM turns
card to cash, Rumplestiltskin
would be green with envy.
Big wad of green in your back pocket feeling
like a high roller.
Roll on back to the road
as birds flock around a
camo-tan water tower
towering in the postcard sky
with cliché cotton clouds.

Just as
Cliché Game-Boy-playing echoes
of our own youth argue
and wonder in the back seat
“are we there yet?”
Watertower Mothership
rises through the mist
like a six-legged octopus on tiptoes
white as Mother Mary
standing to bless the entrance
of festival grounds.

My Name is Noel - Alyssa Reeves

My Name is Noel

Just past mid-December
when a nightfall of snow gives way
to a dim morning of dull diamonds
covering the ground, the trees,
the roofs, the cars, the roads,
the stillness of the campus rouses
invisible, child-like magic
in the hearts of 20-somethings.
Waddle outdoors in seven layers.
Sharp winds cut beneath your nose
and across your exposed cheeks.
Spend the next several hours trudging
around ankle-deep in
fresh, flawless precipitation.
Step onto the untouched plots
of powdered grass.
Welcome to a sacred acreage.
Snow surrenders beneath wet sneakers
and echoes between Hale and Waters Hall.
For hours, admire quiet flakes drifting down,
silhouetted by street lights.
Daylight fades into the ground.
Make your way inside where
a wet trail of footsteps
follows you to the bathroom.
Peel off your damp outer shell.
Cheeks are read and burning
and fingers tingle, as if being licked
by a cold flame.
Shuffle to the kitchen in an undershirt
and shorts and socks.
Sip hot chocolate and reclaim
your chilled appendages.
Consistency is comforting.
Every winter the world is spectacularly silenced.
Rough edges of buildings are softened.
The absence of sound is beautiful.
At night, the stars
are magnified
against the blackest firmament.

How to Survive the Fifth Grade in Large Glass - Emily Ross

How to Survive the Fifth Grade in Large Glasses

If you look down, your summer Keds seem absurdly distant.
A week ago, you may have leapt around,
near-sighted and content on the sweating grass,
but just scuffing now over school carpets is precarious enough
with your new glasses in this new place.
Try not to look down.
Instead, examine the tight row of desks and girls in front of you.
Even the backs of these elaborate school-day hairdos are
gelled smooth and taut
and though you may suddenly feel that you have misspent your summer,
notice too, please,
how their heads must ache.

Prerequisties - Peter Seiler


The fluorescent lights were flickering
dim when about 60 of us yawning
vivaciously peer up to listen to an older man peering
back with beady and detail-hungry eyes.
We were about to begin covering in lecture what had been covered
so many time before and I was quietly pouring
for myself a half warm
cup of coffee from my dented thermos.
It was near 8:00 in the morning
and all the walls up down and around
seemed white washed almost discouraging
distractions with a cold but fatherly sort of discipline.
The man in the front of the room continues to flail
his arms attempting to reach to the class of disinterested
and unenthused students, I took another sip of coffee
and feeling more awake yet increasingly bored. . .
I have heard this lecture a thousand time before;
I can only crack a disdaining smile
in a heartfelt attempt to be listening
like a tired cat acknowledging his owner as he is being disturbed.
When we finally are dismissed
the notebooks and pencils and book bag zippers sigh
in relief as my comrades and I flee
before any more information need be entrusted to our persons.

I Got Ms. Crocker Beat - Jason Stricker

I Got Ms. Crocker Beat.

You need a heart, a heart with feeling.
And keep it open to help with the healing.
You’ll soon find out we can show emotion.
It’s the weaker of us that tend to hold it in.
And then you have to have a way with words.
How else could you tell someone what they’re worth?
Let your feelings know that these weapons could hurt.
After we’ve cooked the raw feelings, the pot must be stirred.

Comes the pain, the pain of truth.
How you handle it is up to you.
You’ll soon find out that it hurts like an oven burn.
Tough to swallow, another lesson learned.
Next you need one of your lonely head rhythms.
How else would you move if the music stopped spinnin’?
Let your rhythm in words combine to make some music.
To make your song, take your words and rhythms, fuse it.

At last,
You need an inspiration beautiful.
It’s your song alone, you can choose to be spiritual.
Set your oven for five hundred degrees,
And it’s your best work if it doesn’t freeze.

Making the Cough Better - Robert Tippin

Making the Cough Better

Just step up to the cabinet
Even though it is hard
For you
Right now.
Look past the pain killers—
Heaven knows you could use them
For your aching skin
And pounding head—
But no!
Your cough-ripped lungs
Like tattered soldiers call you on
To find that vial of stuff
Which, when drunk, would seem to kill
With the taste.
But, think, to the dying the bitter tastes sweet
But you are not dying!
You just have a cough,
SO carry on in your quest.
Aspirin, no! Benadryl, no!
And then you see it, glowing red
Like the life-flowing blood inside you.
Drink (it scrapes you as it slides down)