A Prescription

Doctor’s orders: to swallow words whole, to take
opinions, a pill the color of bone, a
lozenge the color of tongue. Grind them with a ball-point pen,

mortar and pestle-style —Take with food, avoid alcohol, and
if you experience any symptoms or side effects, write
them across your pubis or on the soles of your feet, put this

lab-coated totem into your veins, jog in place, then lie down
but don’t rest. Resign. — The doctor knows shit, but do it anyway: let the pencil draw
your shadow onto the earth because something

caked and aching will rise from its center. Mud? No. More than that.
Mud and twigs and the sediment of autumns, a seed you can’t
open; you just have to bury it, and walk away. Bury it, and be

broken. Wander the Earth until Spring that drunken ex has finally found
his way back to you. Let him stew awhile on your porch. Learn
astronomy to tell the trees of their brothers the stars, to

cajole the glow from any Sun. Leash the inevitable storm and walk
it to that place in the soil that was you and you will be well again.
Let that doctor marvel —You did this without me somehow?—

A golden shovel poem inspired by lyrics from Jack Garratt’s “Surprise Yourself.”

Very early draft. Constructive criticism welcome.

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I am a writer for an e-Learning course vendor near Chicago.

6 thoughts on “A Prescription”

  1. Early draft?! Well I think it’s amazing. I definitely related to what I perceived as a mistrust of, or perhaps not being heard by, doctors. Despite the frustration and hopelessness of the first half, the second half seemed to have a more hopeful tone, even if it’s just hope that things will be better in the distant future (waiting for a seed to sprout or for sunlight to come back) or if getting better takes a lot of really hard work (leashing a storm).

  2. I loved your imagery! Especially this: “those capsules the color of bone, a / lozenge the color of tongue”

    Like Northie said, there’s a lot to digest. I’m not an avid poetry reader so I’m afraid I can’t really help with criticism but I can tell you have a lot of strong emotions bubbling beneath the surface in this piece. Is it about self-care versus medication? I didn’t quite follow.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Anna. I know commenting on poetry can be intimidating. Just like for a fiction or nonfiction writer, knowing what language and imagery worked for a reader in the piece and knowing where the reader got confused can be helpful to a poet. Understanding what emotions the reader is receiving from the words will also help the poet gauge if their intention in writing the piece was successful.

  3. I love how your sentences flow across lines and stanzas, something I find difficult in my own verse. There’s a lot to chew on. I shall be coming back to this.

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