SERENA J. FOX
My father lies at the end of my white coat,
witnessing his own angiography. He jokes,
winces occasionally. The techs are reading
Malcolm X. Two vein grafts are
looks good in many different projections. In
this decade, we are redirected towards the
mammary, for our hearts' blood. It
A patient of mine had his coronaries done for the
third time with a graft from his gastric artery.
Truly, the way to a man's heart...
heart is The Tree. The serpent recoils post-op.
Not one of us is ready for the next exposure.
I did not want to
know how easily he fits into my pocket, and
to what lengths I'll go to keep him there. My
father observed the
for a week with a massive coronary occlusion,
and he can— my fingers at his temples,
holding all I ever need
dye, serpentine, drips
down the screen.
Shoots up, delivers, leaves her baggage
Back-seat to the world—boy born, tab
Unpaid. The driver hasn't disengaged
The gears. Paramedics cut the cord.
The taxi twitches, swears, then, disappears.
Sirens swaddle them and us in sordid
City night. Small body in arrears
For drugs, drugs lace a smile across a face
Devoid of motherhood, numb to need.
She nearly rolls onto him, takes his place.
We take her in to detox, warm, to feed
A son. Withdrawal fuels a newborn thirst.
Milky, dawn suckles day by dying first.
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Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.
In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
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SERENA J. FOX
Serena J. Fox is an intensive care physician and consultant in medical ethics and human rights. The Bellevue Hospital ER in NYC and trauma units in DC inspired the poems in her book, Night Shift. She believes deeply that poetry has an essential role in the teaching of care giving. She was a presenter at The Examined Life in Iowa City.
The Examined Life is a three-day conference in April focusing on the links between the science of medicine and the art of writing and sponsored by the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.
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