Mary Receives Treatment

by D. Walsh Gilbert

With her eyes downturned
as if in mortal shame,

as if she’s stepped in dogdirt,
she imagines amputation,

but the doctor speaks about
debriding, stitching, cautery—

the merits of each. She can’t see
the blister which has caused

her move from home to room,
from independence to bruised

squirrel on the roadway alone
with its twitching in the gravel.

She loves the final gesture
to clean & wrap & leave it be

although it seems too easy,
and more like asking to reverse

continental shift. 
                       Her own foot

and its refusal to hurt,
must heal itself in the shadow

of bandage & gauze & sneaky position.
But, not-looking is an absence

which has held her together before.
Prayer & invocation spoken in dark

silent places, eyes downturned.
Not at all like surrender.

D. Walsh Gilbert is the author of Ransom (Grayson Books) and forthcoming, Once the Earth had Two Moons (Cerasus Poetry). Winner of The Ekphrastic Review’s 2021 “Bird Watching” contest, she’s currently preparing an all-ekphrastic poetry collection for mid-2022. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Amethyst Review, The Lumiere Review,and Black Fox Literary Magazine, among others.She serves on the board of the non-profit, Riverwood Poetry Series, and as co-editor of Connecticut River Review.  

One thought on “Mary Receives Treatment

  1. Thank you, Agape Review, for honoring my aunt, age 90, by publishing this poem which is dedicated to her.
    All good things,
    Debbie Gilbert


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