Thoracic Park

My crown collides with
five foot four. With one extra,
34 vertebrae elbow for room.

The column winds
from Coccyx to Atlas,
slow mountain road.

Anna Fogel


Nurse’s Harrow
(or, Walking Away From The Veterinary Field)

I step away for five minutes
fetching medication,
one minute too long.
The black cat turns blue.

I place the breathing tube. 
I could have done better. 
A larger diameter, a four
millimeter for a three?
Just one more.
Small things haunt.

Anna Fogel



Sinewless marching men,
the blood’s heme fall from formation.
This is probably just another
losing bet, waste of time and cash

like the wagers we placed
on the rheumatologist,
the neurologist, the GP;
co-pays squandered at the races.

Herpetologists are now saddled
to calculate the chances
that a urinalysis abnormality
could lead to a diagnosis.

Rarity excites the scientists!
Some sufferers cannot
withstand the sun, some just
slip into comas and die.

But my husband is not a vampire.
Nor are his crutches teeth.
And it’s hard to root for
such a killing disease.

Anna Fogel


Naming of Things

The doctor says it out loud, Myasthenia Gravis.
A nightmare of a disease. Why’d you pick that one
off a lengthy list of differentials? Anything, puppies
or pillows, followed by Gravis is grave.

The only thing it has going for it is,
it would make a great band name.
Medical terminology lends itself
beautifully to the naming of things.

There is so little control of what gets immediately
filed in the permanent cabinets of the mind.
Now this hits the inbox with a clatter of crutches.
Flashbacks and bad dreams are made of this stuff.

Bolting upright in bed as if hit by lightning, met
only by the quiet dark. No comfort there. Cigarette
at 3 am, another at 4:30. Stop filing possibilities.
Don’t attach any maybes. Where is that shredder?

Anna Fogel


List of Grievances

1.  Jeff Koons, always and forever.  But especially now and especially for this.

2.  All the things I miss now that I’m poor.  And being poor.

3.  The medical community who thinks it’s okay to perform surgery WITHOUT properly prepping the area (read: shave), then apply layers upon layers of of a variety adhesive tapes with the possibility of some kind of suture mixed with blood and lymph under the tape, which we are deathly afraid of removing.  What is under there?

4.  The ever-growing pile of documents that needs my completion and either mailing, faxing or hand delivering in order to make life just barely bearable.

5.  Unemployment.  In our state, some have suggested that the REAL numbers are around 20%.  That means, whether on or off the grid, there’s a hoard of people competing with me for jobs.  People, at least half of which are more desperate than I am and will take ANYTHING in exchange for dancing like a monkey.