Wanting to ward off more doctors
and sick at heart after your eulogy,
I take out an apple, cut it in half,
open it like a sympathy card.
On television, closed captioning
lets me know the perky news anchor
is reporting on the health of the economy.
Even with the sound on mute,
I can tell the news is bad.
Like your internist who always said
too much, the news is abrupt
and undeniable as bitterness.
Still wearing my black
skirt and tissue-smeared mascara,
I watch the young woman on TV
slowly open and close her thick lashes,
lower her eyes, soften her gaze,
wanting to let us know how sorry she is
for what she must report:
that with leading indexes falling,
and the country’s death count rising,
the situation looks bleaker than ever…
Then, as if the sun has come out,
the newscaster’s face brightens into a smile
as astounding as the star inside my apple.
The screen’s scrolling ribbon says she is happy
to tell us that despite the way things feel now,
some analysts are hopeful, given the indicators,
that by next year or the next, we may all be well
on the road to some semblance of recovery.
by Anne McCrady