Gloria sat beside the kitchen window
watching snow fall over sycamores
What could she hope for, 
some good news brought by mail? 
An unexpected call? 

Her phone rang with reminders
of medical appointments.  
No mail ever came but bills
from doctors, clinics, hospitals,
ads, charity appeals. 

She had grown accustomed to suffering,
inured to the idea that her life was
without much happiness or success.
Accustomed to pain running along
her back, through her knees, her feet,
shortness of breath, cancers.

Now in retirement, what was really left?
Just bottles of pills to take every day.
Death used to be something Gloria could
brush off. It happened to someone else. 
Now it seemed so close, as if it might
come any day from some cold hand.


Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Three Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations. 


PoetryJulia Nusbaum1 Comment