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Susanna Childress

Letter to King's Daughter Hospital, Room 244

Your kidney is a dream-sac
of old hurts: in stray electrolytes
they find Grampa's early death, Lucille's,
the checks Jimmy stole from you and his
third DUI, not to mention the frost
that took your cherry tree. Soon

you'll sleep, Coleridge will tell you
to which Imagination the morning mist
belongs, from how many skies
your surgeon borrowed blue, and when
ache will ease to itch. The body
lets go its battered wives, its dilapidated

preacher's suits, praise be, but what good
is hope in these terms? Here, Gran,
it's raining hard, streets starting to eddy
at the edges. This morning we sit on the porch,
kettle of a roof harkening, our neighbor boy
out walking, shouts up at the porch,
Look at me, I'm soppy wet!

Susanna Childress is the author of Jagged with Love (Univ. of Wisconsin Press), winner of the Brittingham Prize for Poetry.

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