"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Daffodils and Poetry and the Roughriders of the House

April is poetry mouth.
I hurt, therefore I am.
My local library has signs posted for the high school poetry contest.
That made me feel good, that they're still open, still a haven for thought and knowledge,
still talking about poetry.

My thoughts are clouded this morning by my mother's for-profit hospital bed,
by the call button that isn't answered.
I think of the nurses who rush about, harried and anxious with impossible patient loads,
like the 30-student classroom my sister faces daily in her underfunded public school.
I pace the hall for an aide, for someone,
my mother needs to urinate
she needs her pain pill
she needs a hospital that isn't a for-profit
but most of our community hospitals are.

If you're a Republican Roughrider, you would put yourself
into a private hospital with a healthier ratio of patients to nurses.
With your House of Representatives health insurance,
you proudly state that America has the best health care system in the world.
Why would we want to change it?
You denigrate your president
and lead the charge against his efforts to change it.
You are a patriot and a roughrider.
You make disparaging remarks about
"Obama Care" as though it were an abscess on American's nose,
rather than an Affordable Health Care Plan for all Americans.
You will work to defund it and privatize Medicare and Medicaid.
You will cut EPA, NPR, PBS, DNR, public education and libraries
while keeping the Pentagon intact.
All this while cutting taxes for the elite.
A rich man will always care more about his money than his country.

Your children go to private schools and you have your own library.
You live in a gated enclave with trees to shield you from view.
You don't want to see and you don't want to be seen.
You call yourself a patriot.
You will work to rid the country of the health care plan
that forces insurance companies to pay for
preventive care without a co-pay or deductible,
lowering their margin of profit.
The smart Republican Roughriders coined a new name for it
to strike fear of rationing into the heart,
as though rationing weren’t already the law of the land.

My mother loves flowers.
The daffodils of spring have always been her favorite.
They have braved the cold on the south side of the house
and are about to open.
When they do, I will cut her a bouquet
and set them where she can see them.
She likes the Detroit Tigers but can’t watch them
because the hospital doesn’t carry that station.
Her television stays off. My mother is too smart for Judge Judy.
We took her in a transistor radio but it wouldn’t pick up the game.
We tell her about the games and we take in the sports section.
But her heart isn’t in it.

16 comments:

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Sing it, sister. That's one powerful sermon-chant and most needed.
I'm sorry your mother is ill and caught in this mess of a system. I've been there and am grateful my daughter was able to bring aid and sunshine to me as you're doing for your mother.

Judy Croome said...

Sorry to hear your Mom is ill - hope the new week brings her good health and a happy heart.
Judy (South Africa)

Anthony Duce said...

Agree completely with your words, and sympatize for the present pains.. It amazes me how easily the “haves” have convinced so many of the “have nots” to agree with them, as they take even more of their America away from them.

rosaria said...

So sorry to hear about your mom's health. Yes,your concerns are shared, and deeply felt.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thank you all so much for bringing me some sunshine!

Sarah Wedgbrow said...

Yvonne, thank you for (again) saying what needs to be said. So many don't...I'm guilty of this too, and feel like things are so divided that my opinion doesn't matter.
I'm behind your voice, 100%. Not just because I agree with your words, but because you care about something. You give a damn. And people like that are worth listening to.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Sarah,
Thank you. Your support is a staff to grasp in a sea of self-doubt. It's gratifying to know that others feel the same but I'm afraid words are no longer enough.

Domey Malasarn said...

Yvonne,
I'm so sorry to hear about what your mother and you are having to deal with.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry she doesn't get to enjoy her Tigers! Bet if you got her an iPad you'd find out the hospital didn't have WiFi, either.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Domey,
Thank you so much.

Alex,
They definitely do not have WiFi. The very idea makes me laugh. Thanks for commenting.

Jemi Fraser said...

How frustrating!!! I find it so hard to understand why some people here in Canada want to switch to a health care system where profit is the motive. People shouldn't have to suffer when they're in a place that should be taking care of them. I hope your mother gets the care she needs and the games she should be seeing! Take care.

Yvonne Osborne said...

They do? I have a cousin who lives in Toronto and always seems pretty content with her health care and amazed at the high cost of everything here. I would fight privitization with tooth and nail if I were you. If the for-profits get their toe under the rug you won't be able to shake them out.

Thanks for your comment, Jemi.

Talli Roland said...

Wow, Yvonne. Wow.

What a powerful, powerful piece of writing. I could feel your spirit coming through the words straight at me.

Brilliant.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Talli,
Thank you so much! What a lovely comment. And just what I needed today. We have to get our mother home. Hopefully before Easter.
Thanks again.

Anne R. Allen said...

Powerful, true and sad.

We will all be where your mom is one day, unless of course, we're all dying in makeshift Port-Au-Prince tents while marauding gangs of Teabagger-zombies shoot everything that moves--the Republican idea of Paradise.

Hope your mom can escape soon.

Canadians, hang onto your sanity, please? We need somewhere to escape to. I re-read the Handmaid's Tale regularly. It gets closer to reality by the day.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Hi Anne,
Thanks for the comment! I just happened upon the little gem. Teabagger zombies indeed. I can just see the glassy-eyed Palin leading the charge.

Don't you just love the Handmaid's Tale? It's one of my all time favorites and I think it should be required reading for high school students. Maybe it would take their minds off American Idol. Another favorite is The Women's Room, by Marcia French. Have you ever read that??

My mother escaped the hospital just in time for Easter. A glorious day. Thanks again for reading my prose.