Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-nine
Winter 2015
ordinary morning
Jan Ball

He rips her little finger off
with the sharp handle of his
computer bag, when he twists
abruptly to claim more breathing
space on the morning 151 bus,
like turning your head to avoid
the spray of someone’s errant
sneeze in a closed space. Several
people notice her predicament
and offer kleenexes from deep
designer purses or pants pockets.

The meticulously dressed man
in the pin striped suit and fedora
–a Frank Lloyd Wright double
going to his office in Symphony
Hall–has already stepped on her
appendage so it’s no use bending
to retrieve it, the lacquered nail
just a hard red stone on the bus
floor now.

Fortunately, she’s only three blocks
away from Northwestern Hospital
just off Michigan Avenue so is able
to staunch the blood with the Kleenexes
she got from the other passengers and
gulp down the pain like a huge glucosamine
and chondroitin tablet as if this were
an ordinary morning on the way to work.

About Jan Ball

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