This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by A.M. Juster.
Please flood her nerves with sedatives
and keep her strong enough to crack a smile
so disbelieving friends and relatives
can temporarily sustain denial.
Please smite that intern in oncology
who craves approval from department heads
Please ease her urge to vomit; let there be
kind but flirtatious men in nearby beds.
Given her hair, consider amnesty
for sins of vanity; make mirrors vanish.
Surround her with forgiving family
and nurses not too numb to cry. Please banish
trite consolations; take her in one swift
and gentle motion as your final gift.
A.M. Juster is the Poetry Editor of First Things magazine. His poetry, translations and essays have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Hudson Review,The New Criterion, Arion, North American Review, Rattle, Southwest Review, Barrow Street, Hopkins Review and many other publications.