December 25, 2013

Richard H. Fox

Chemo Brain

Lost in the grocery store you've shopped in
since you pushed a cart for your Mama? Have
a cup of Peppermint Tea, the red box on the
shelf opposite your belt buckle. Leave your
pants alone, grab a couple of bags, stumble
four aisles left to the household articles,
choose a ceramic mug, #1 DAD or I’M GETTING
SUPERPOWER? Next to the pharmacy is a water
dispenser with twin taps: boiling and cold.
Put the tea bags in your mug, tags over the
rim. Fill with your preference but hot must
be best because you are shivering suddenly.
Suppose shopping is a spoiled idea when you
wanderlust for two hours to fill a thirteen
item list. Perhaps you should sit down here
on the floor til your wife can pick you up.

A recent National Geographic survey indicates that eleven per cent of the young people in this country can't locate the United States on a map

three floors in this old wood house
our rooms are on the first
I can climb out my window day or night
stay in the shadows   sneak out to Shepherd Street
can always tell that road   sidewalks have lumps
Ma says they're from frost but they last all year
if I go right at the dead chestnut tree
that's Doyle Road   most times a traffic jam
horns and sirens all night   Doyle has a new walk  
all black tar   hot in summer   follow it
four blocks   past Greensboro Ames Columbus
to Calvin with the boarded up mansion on the corner
some say it's haunted but I spent a night there
didn't see no ghosts but smelled a lot of pee
Calvin Road has cracks in its sidewalks
sometimes I jump 'em   other times step on 'em all  
go past Hilliard Avenue and Haines Alley
come to my school   yellow brick walls
windows that don't open   playground has broke rides
next right is Macmillan   fire station as I turn
new concrete walkway 'cause of firetrucks
halfway up the block are my cement hand prints
in front of Stacy's pink house   so she'll see 'em
every time she walks to school or gets the bus
take Macmillan past Columbus Ames Greensboro
back to Shepherd   has a gas street light
next to the sign   light winks   STOP sign has no P
walk by seven three deckers   back to my window
when Ma is pissed at me she locks it then the door  
I keep an old mattress and pillow under the stoop
found them one trash day


Richard H. Fox was born and bred in Worcester MA. He attended Webster University, as much artist colony as college, in the early 1970s. These diverse cultures shaped his world view and love of words. He is a former President of Poetry Oasis, Inc., a non-profit poetry association dedicated to education and promoting local poets, and was Managing Editor of its journal Diner. He has been published  in The Boston Literary Magazine, OVS, Sahara, Midstream Magazine, and other fine places. His book Time Bomb was published in September 2013.

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