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.