Rick Ollman's

all souls' solace
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Body Parts
My Hands

Returning to myself I watch my hands,
so dry and cracked in the winter I can't hold
a pen to write clearly. I watch my belly
rise and fall, relax my shoulders, feel
the slow pulse in my lips and view the neat
letters appearing on the screen—the words
and lines taking shape with no x-ed out scribbles
and scratches. Not just legible but printable!

The challenge is clear as day: remove mystique,
let mystery shine through. Sacrifice
obscurity, let inklings, innuendo
filter through the layers. Watch my heart
take the shape of a fresh, red apple. Watch
my weathered hands and what they've learned to say.
My Heart

It took a while to regain a sense of trust.
The doctor did what he could and if success
surprised him he never let on. Of course he knew
better than I how close I came. They wheeled
me back with the shock of the Foley catheter,
shaved chest but no incision, just five small
puncture wounds where electrodes snaked from neck
to heart and groin to heart through arteries
to map and zap the offending cells and Chapman
shocked me again with his confidence or was it
balls, bravado. To stop another's heart
and start it, restop, restart electronically—
like testing a car's ignition switch and healing it...
I lay in bed and knew your heartfelt love.
My Head

So streamlined as the years have lightened me,
my head relieved of that uneasy burden,
that crown that once held staring throngs in thrall.
So simple now to rise from bed, to step
out of the shower, to remove my hat and know
that not a hair is out of place! Of course
so few are in place but I no longer care.
There are more than enough locks in the world
and I value freedom. Who needs another brush
with madness? I've used a fine-tooth comb to sort
these tangled thoughts and I believe a hairy ape
would reach this same, this sane conclusion—
let the clips fall where they may but
the bald truth is that hair is nothing to die for!

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