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Reunion In the Recovery Room


ISSUE:  Winter 2004

First there were two of me, no doubt because
I could not move and could not speak.
Wrapped snug as mummies or cigars,
they looked larval, inept and cold,
and lay swaddled in anesthesia
as I peered down on them—so there were three
of us—and on my own mute plight.

Next came the voice. Who would have thought
the old man had so many selves in him?
It was the very voice I use to sprinkle
new students with pleasantries,
the press secretary’s voice, the perfectly
good explanation voice. The rest of us
drifted on the amnesiac waters

that flooded forever the diligent work
and dangers of the operation,
and heard the suave gasbag explain that soon
we’d be OK. Slowly fear unfettered
us, and we could twitch and moan, then move
and speak, all present and accounted for,
our dread and blather, and our endurance.

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