Gloria by Joan McNerney

Maybe it had been too
much helping her mother.
She hurried home after work
with medicine, carrying bags of
groceries, rushing to cook.
Endless cleaning, piles of wash.
She arranged medical visits,
wrote checks, handled mail,
balanced accounts.

Then there were all the little things.
Turn up the radio. Turn it down.
Run out for candy. Pick up newspapers.
Find something cool to drink.
Make something hot. Every day
her mother’s health seemed worse.

Visiting her in the hospital,
Gloria consulted doctors.
Trying to digest complicated
medical terms coiled in
convoluted sentences.
Straining to interpret arched
eyebrows half smiles, mumbles.

Everything led to dead ends.
Sorrow stabbed at her with
its blazing knife. Finally
there was nothing left to do
but light candles in church.

©2018 Joan McNerney


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Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations.


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