It’s like she’s a horse tethered to a tree, asleep with
eyes open in case she misses her own demise
—meanwhile, her vacuum broke down
How does she do it, inhale her own dust,
skin cells shed at night when no one is looking?
She can’t hear a thing on account of the noise
—scritches of birdsong in the garden,
spoon backs tapping at drawers
Why must a woman who has outlasted Disney and aerobics
serve her obituary on a mess-free non-stick surface;
—she has trouble breathing,
reaches an arm around her own back,
plunges through ribs to prop up the aorta,
deft as a gardener staking delphinium;
yanks up heart straps
for the last time
—fluent in the language of foliage,
arm red streaked,
Almost gets away with it.
Lorin Medley is a counselor, writer, and gardener from Comox, BC. She has been published in Portal, The Island Word, and in Vancouver Island Mayworks’ Wow! Writing on Work. In 2015, she was the recipient of Vancouver Island University’s 2015 Bill Juby award. Her short story, “Oh, Lamb,” won first prize in the 2014 Islands Short Fiction Contest. “A Bebop Incident in the Garry Oak Ecosystem” won the 2015 Books Matter poetry prize sponsored by Aislinn Hunter. Lorin’s poem, “Mean Old Daddy,” was longlisted for the 2016 Prism International Poetry Contest.