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April 2017, vol 13 no 1

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Autumn Noelle Hall

A Wretch Like Me

Granted, it’s amazing; but will someone please show me what grace looks like in action? When the migraine arrives John Henry style, driving a railroad spike through the left side of one’s skull, does grace simply contain the pain? Does it refrain from chastisements like, “Perhaps I oughtn’t drive to the store for milk just now, being that I’ve got these two Ferris Wheels spinning in front of my bleeding eyes”?

take two aspirin
and call somebody else
has gone the way
of Obamacare

And once arrived at the store, how does grace behave, in light of those two kids screeching and swinging from the dairy doors like coked-up chimpanzees? I’m guessing it might button its lips and not let slip, “Well, no more peanut butter and M&M sandwiches for you two . . .” within earshot of their mother.

that sweet old lady
smiling so benignly
at the checkout –
bats in her belfry? nah
maybe bodies in her basement . . .

From what I’ve surmised, grace seems to manifest as an adult’s only version of “Children should be seen and not heard.” Grow up, put up, shut up. Amazing to think how many people have passed away – with grace – from cancer, the one-size-fits-all disease that comes of stuffing suffering.

taking a vow
of silence . . .
my cells
scream at the toxins
of a non-talking cure

I’m expecting Grace, and her roomie, Wisdom, to stop by for a visit any day now. After all, I’ll be fifty by summer solstice. Moving from my longest day into my long dark. Isn’t it high time I entertained them both?

don’t suppose
they make a doormat
with the word GRACE . . . ?
I could wipe my muddy feet
and hope it rubs off