Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 23: End of the School Year, "Pointe," Classic Saint Marty

I am tired.  I've been working all day, but, as usual, it feels as if I haven't accomplished anything at all.  Grading, planning, grading again.  It's almost the end of the school year, and I--a contingent professor working two full-time jobs--am entering the most difficult two weeks of the semester.  It's a tough time for full-timers.  It's doubly difficult for part-timers.

I'm not complaining.  I am simply tired.  That's all.  In two weeks' time, I will be at the point of near exhaustion, but I will be done and ready to go into summer hibernation.  Maybe do some poetry readings.  Work on some new poems.

Speaking of poems:


by:  Martin Achatz

They're wrecked after a year,
each second my daughter spent
on her toes creased
into the wood box
with sweat and blister,
her first steps, panicked
lurches across the dance floor,
as if she were on the deck
of the Titanic as it listed,
snapped, sent her skidding
to the black Atlantic.
I wanted to save her
from gravity, have her grip
my fingers the way she did
as a baby, tethered to me
like a lifeboat, each move
an exercise in balance,
the ground beneath her feet
as unstable as lake ice
in May.  I still have her
first shoes, small, white
as bleached driftwood.
They're reminders of how
she once depended on me
to rescue her from each
drowning stumble.  The pink
slippers sit on her dresser now
along with stones she found
on the shores of Superior,
a wrist band for treading water
ten minutes longer than anyone
else at Bible camp last summer,
and medals, ribbons for ballet.
If I close my eyes, I see her,
mid-air or mid-water,
clumsy one-year-old,
graceful almost teen,
her limbs stretched
toward me or away,
wanting to be scooped up, saved,
or wanting to strike out
for swifter currents,
higher leaps,
deeper, bluer waters.

A couple years ago, I was closing in on the end of the school year, as well.  My sister was in a nursing home, and I was recovering from a low blood sugar:

April 13, 2015:  Visiting My Sister, Low Blood Sugar, "Ives" Dip

You'll pardon me if my thoughts seem a little disjointed or non-jointed this evening.  I just got my son to bed, and my blood sugar is hovering around 45 at the moment.  For those readers who are not diabetic or are unfamiliar with normal blood glucose levels, most non-diabetics have blood sugars between 70 and 110.  Hence, my slightly incoherent coherence right now.

I went to visit my sister in the nursing home this evening.  She was in good spirits, or she was faking it really well.  The latest news on her health front is that she will be going to Mayo Clinic for her parathyroid surgery.  The social worker at the nursing home is working on transportation (an ambulance) and insurance issues.

Frankly, I don't know how my sister can stand being in that place, not that she has a choice.  There are people in wheelchairs roaming the hallways, moaning and screaming.  My sister keeps her room door closed to discourage unwanted visitors.  The walls are painted cinder block, and the air is perfumed with the scents of urine and feces at times.

Which brings me to my Ives dip question:

Will my sister ever come home from the nursing home?

And the answer is:

". . . Just remember, if you don't take care of business, no one else will.  Do you really think God gives a shit?"

As a matter of fact, I DO think God gives a shit.  I have to.  I know that my sister isn't walking out of that place without some serious medical intervention, but I believe God IS watching out for her.  If He wasn't, she would already be dead.

Saint Marty's blood sugar is coming up.  He can actually focus on the computer screen now.

Good advice this evening...

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