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.