In the Years Following the Fall of the Berlin Wall

In the years following the fall of the Berlin Wall, I was lined up by the fire with the old people. I was just there trying to get used to my new existence as a doorstop. And as I waited, before me those loved ones of the older generation toppled over one after the other. These, my elder statespeople, went down like nations, like all those countries they spent so many years of their lives worrying woud fall to communism.


At each pasing I've grown hopeful: maybe they've left me their wheelchair.

(To the tv medium in reruns: Bring out the new dead.)


Among the castoffs outside the parking lot's closed Goodwill hut, one day I saw a folded-up wheelchair lying down by itself. The sight of it there gave me pause, and I thought about taking it, but that would be considered stealing.


What is it like, you ask, to be too ill to walk into a cemetery? All I wanted was to see where some ancestors are. For crying out loud, not many cemeteries and only a few gravesites. But terrible confusion and more and more pain so I end up at a stone begging a woman I never knew, who is both distant cousin and great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth McIntire, for mercy.

Believe me, at every rural cemetery gate, I'm scouting out a resting place.


I lie in the grass staring at the sky, and I think, crazily, the only one who can save me now is Miroslav Holub, my biological father.

Miroslav Holub was a Czech poet and immunologist. When I discovered his writing, I felt a kinship.


A dark vision...This was very poignant to me "Believe me, at every rural cemetery gate, I'm scouting out a resting place."

He ends up begging someone he doesn't know - but who turns out to be a distant we're all related...I'm not surprised at his last line - I assume that he just wants to return to health - which he associates with his father and probably his childhood.....he is interesting!

I haven't really read poetry in years...Think I should get back to it - even dark poetry can be quite calming... :)
Thanks so much, Cort, for taking the time to respond.

But, oops, I see that I didn't make clear that I wrote this prose poem. The note at the end, instead of clarifying the reference to Miroslav Holab as my "father," must have confused you.

Then the next blog entry, "Diagnoses," is a poem by Miroslav Holub. Ok, if you think "Diagnoses" is interesting I will add more poems and short prose exercepts from my commonplace book.

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