HAPTIC PERCEPTION by Athena Kildegaard

The nurse wears blue gloves.
Her stool turns on four black wheels.
A shot is the first course.

I shouldn’t have picked up the bat,
wounded, vulnerable in the street.
The nurse wears blue gloves.

The violence of life, red in tooth
and black in death. Silence of the syringe.
A shot is the second course.

Bats deserve to live, who could
deny it, though we fear them (I should).
The nurse wears blue gloves

and tells me to call in case
of headaches, fever, malaise.
A shot is the third course.

We laugh as I turn down the hall.
I know she doubts my sanity,
this nurse who wears blue gloves.

It’s too soon for mosquitoes.
My children are grown and moved away.
The nurse wears blue gloves.
A shot is the fourth course.

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About Athena Kildegaard

Athena Kildegaard
Athena Kildegaard lives and teaches in Morris, Minnesota. She's the author of three books of poetry and a fourth is due from Tinderbox Editions in early 2016. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Alaska Quarterly Review, Barn Owl, Water~Stone, Tar River Poetry, Grist, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Drunken Boat, and elsewhere.