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On Leaving Rehab in San Diego January 2006, Cured


Car accident on the way home

at the airport approach crying silently in

Yasmin's Rap-mobile

four bags so heavy I can't lift them

in the back

my things exploding

from my over-stuffed carry-ons

airport floor luxury of chairs not required

I sit in line with my bags

and crumpled paper -

Across the way a close shaved head

(mine a tumble of tangle)

unremarkable face

(I cry on the phone in my pink glasses, people stare)

wearing only close fitting pale t-shirt, athletic pants

thong sandals

(black turtleneck and cardigan, crystal and silver studded belt

faded gold leather jacket and jeans)

beside him a tiny slim briefcase

in front an elegant stack of papers, unmarred

crisp, white, 2 pages each held together with

25 precisely placed paper clips

aligned perpendicular to the ground,

I turn up my i-pod on shuffle


Gimme Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment

I face the gate as the pre-boarding is announced

those needing assistance and children traveling alone

a large group of bent, damaged, crooked

people hobble past


limbs, misshapen backs, body casts

medical appliance wielding wheel-chairbound

life's roller derby wreckage

(my own damage disguised)



[Originally published in NHS 2006, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs06/Olmsted.htm.]