Death leaves you so alone.
Your hand goes through a mime's glass.
Hello? Anybody there?
The Buddha Prepares for a Triple Bypass
Thanks the nurses for the antiseptic soap.
Whispers, smiling: Don't worry.
Have you seen my chest? Not a hair on it.
Nowhere for the germs to hide.
Carries the bar to the shower, lathers. Hums to himself
a song. Not from the palace of his youth, nor the temples.
It's a sea shanty! The Buddha begins to sing with gusto
and after a scrub, emerges glistening as the waves.
Climbs back into bed, sees the attendant
with the furrowed brow and says, It's ok, friend
there's room for suffering in love. And you know,
I didn't die of a broken heart. Let's go.
7AM ET/8:30AM NDT, April 6, 2022
For Stan and Beth
with love, Ronna
Ronna Bloom is the author of six books of poetry, and the recent chapbook Who is your mercy contact? (Espresso-Chapbooks.) Her poems have been recorded by the CNIB, and translated into Bangla, Chinese and Spanish. Ronna developed the first Poet in Residence program at Mount Sinai Hospital/Sinai Health and collaborates with filmmakers, academics, spiritual leaders, and architects. In 2023, The Laurier Poetry Series at Wilfred Laurier University Press will publish A Possible Trust: The Poetry of Ronna Bloom, selected with an introduction by Phil Hall. www.ronnabloom.com